By Sergio Miranda Hayes, 2016-2017 President Néstor Kirchner Fellow


In the academic world, scientific literature comes mainly from the western part of the globe. Ramón Grossfoguel believes that knowledge is determined by power relations in the “post-colonial” era (Grossfoguel, 2002: 16). This means that Western powers dominate the academic world. In constitutional law, this is not the exception. However, while we can accept that it is true that many constitutional provisions, doctrine, jurisprudence and theories of Western constitutional law have influenced Latin American countries, most of these countries have also developed their own constitutional systems that have specific and new features, whose unique identity differentiates them from other systems in the world. In this paper, I will try to study the special features that Bolivia, Ecuador, and Colombia have in the recognition of indigenous rights and legal pluralism, whose discursive axis entails a “decolonizing” spirit which is the retrieval of their own institutions against the trends of hegemonic governance of the western culture as I will explain later.

Latin America has faced numerous problems concerning social differentiation. In the opinion of one of the most cited authors in Latin American constitutional law, Raquel Yrigoyen, the disadvantaged were left behind from the social, economic and political issues through legal measures created by people of a favored minority, in order to maintain privileges (Yrigoyen, 2011: 139). In the case of Latin America, many of the disadvantaged match to be those survivors of the brutal Spanish conquest; the native Indians …

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