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Latin America's Multicultural MovementsThe Struggle Between Communitarianism, Autonomy, and Human Rights$
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Todd A. Eisenstadt, Michael S. Danielson, Moises Jaime Bailon Corres, and Carlos Sorroza Polo

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199936267

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199936267.001.0001

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Political subsystems in Oaxaca’s Usos y Costumbres municipalities

Political subsystems in Oaxaca’s Usos y Costumbres municipalities

A typology based on the civil-religious service Bbckground of mayors

(p.169) 7 Political subsystems in Oaxaca’s Usos y Costumbres municipalities
Latin America's Multicultural Movements

Carlos Sorroza Polo

Michael S. Danielson

Oxford University Press

Policies such as the recognition of usos y constumbres (UC) in Oaxaca, Mexico, purport to extend the right to self-determination to Indigenous communities. But traditional systems of community service have been modified due to migration, education, and pressures from an external socio-cultural system that values individualism and rejects the collective. Using original municipal-level survey data, this chapter examines the civil and religious service backgrounds mayors, and proposes a typology of subsystems of UC municipalities in the state. The pathway mayors take to power is an important indicator of the degree to which communities have maintained their traditional organizational structures, in which many years of religious and civil service to the community through the cargo system are required to reach higher levels of authority. The analysis moves beyond such overly simplistic dichotomies as UC vs. political party system or Indigenous vs. Mestizo and demonstrates the internal diversity among UC municipalities.

Keywords:   recognition, usos y costumbres; Oaxaca, Mexico, mayors, cargo system, indigenous communities, mayors

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