There are 55 indigenous groups in Peru and, according to the 2017 National Census, at least 20 of 100 Peruvians identify themselves as indigenous. However, despite representing a fifth of the population, they still face many challenges for their socioeconomic inclusion, due to various structural barriers, such as discrimination or lack of access to basic services especially health and education. This situation of vulnerability is also reflected in the lack of political representation, which is indeed necessary for an effective democracy
It is also important to emphasize that Peru has ratified ILO-Convention 169 on indigenous and tribal peoples, which is a binding international instrument that states that governments must enable ways for free and multi-level indigenous participation in the adoption of decisions within elective institutions and administrative bodies responsible for policies and programs that concern them.
In this sense, in order to contribute to the intercultural approach in the political sphere, the National Elections Jury (JNE) together with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the support of IDEA International, will launch the first Indigenous Political Training School. From September 28 to November 15, 2020, this school will train 36 indigenous leaders and promote their political participation towards 2021 General Elections.
In this first program, indigenous leaders with interests in local, regional or national electoral processes will be prioritized and also those belonging to the Farmer Confederation of Peru (CPP), National Agrarian Confederation (CNA), Confederation of Amazonian Nationalities of Peru (CONAP ), National Federation of Peasant, Artisan, Indigenous, Native and Salaried Female Workers of Peru (FEMUCARINAP), National Organization of Andean and Amazonian Indigenous Women of Peru (ONAMIAP) and the National Union of Aymara Communities (UNCA) that belong to the Working Group for Strengthening Indigenous Political Participation. In addition, female participation (23 women and 13 men) has been considered in order to promote the political role of women in the indigenous sphere.
The training program will include topics such as democracy and state structure; collective rights of indigenous peoples and indigenous public institutions; parties, electoral legislation and candidatures in the 2021 General Elections; planning of electoral strategy, political communication and public spokesperson; and political harassment and violation of human rights in electoral processes.
The sessions will be held through the virtual classroom of the JNE including training audiovisual material. Likewise, considering the existing digital gap, UNDP will provide mobile devises for each participant, to enable access to the sessions. Thus, this will create an adequate learning environment aiming feedback and interaction between participants and teachers.