During the last decade states in Latin America have recognized indigenous peoples' rights and "multiculturalized" certain aspects of public administration, including the justice system. These changes have occurred within a broader context of neoliberal state reform and economic globalization. Drawing on two cases - the policia comunitaria in Guerrero, Mexico, and the alcaldias indigenas in Quiché, Guatemala - I analyze indigenous peoples' efforts to articulate alternative visions of government, law and justice. What challenges do they currently face in their efforts to construct alternative forms of authority and law, or "indigenous government"? What conceptions of rights and citizenship are at play? And what does the contrast between Guatemala and Mexico reveal about these challenges and the relationship between indigenous peoples and the state?


Rachel Sieder is Senior research professor at the Centro de Investigaciones y Educación Superior en Antropología Social (CIESAS) in Mexico City and research asóciate at the Christian Michelsen Institute, Bergen. She was previously Lecturer in Politics at the Institute of Latin American Studies, School of Advanced Studies,University of London. Her research interests are indigenous rights, human rights, law and globalisation and judicial reform. She has researched Central America and specifically Guatemala for nearly two decades. Sieder is the author of numerous articles on justice reform, peace processes and indigenous rights. Her books include (ed.) Guatemala After the Peace Accords (Institute of Latin American Studies, 1998); (ed.) Central America: Fragile Transition (Macmillan Press, 1996); (ed.) with Pilar Domingo, Promoting the Rule of Law: Perspectives on Latin America (Institute of Latin American Studies, 2001); (ed.) Multiculturalism in Latin America: Indigenous Rights, Diversity and Democracy (Palgrave Press, 2002); (ed.) with Line Schjolden and Alan Angell, The Judicialization of Politics in Latin America (Palgrave, New York, 2005). She is currently joint editor of the Journal of Latin American Studies, published by Cambridge University Press.