Golden Ponchos

Golden Ponchos
A term used to accuse indigenous leaders in Ecuador of elitism.

The President of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, has recently clashed with indigenous leaders over new laws on water, mining and oil – clashes which culminated, on September 28, in country-wide demonstrations organized by the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE).According to Jennifer Moore in Upside Down World:

President Correa had repeatedly insulted indigenous organizations and their leaders, insisting that they “are lying” when they say the water law allows for privatization. … He also accused leaders of the CONAIE and the highland indigenous organization ECUARUNARI of being part of a privileged class. Both groups rejected his insults and cite them as part of their rationale for Monday’s protests.
Assembly Member Lourdes Tibán from the indigenous Pachakutik movement also wrote an open letter to Correa on Monday, saying, “Enough of your insults Mr. President.” She criticized him for using the term “golden ponchos” against indigenous movement leaders, which she says was coined by the right-wing oligarchy more than 10 years ago, around the time that the indigenous movement was growing in political influence and participated in the overthrow of two governments. …
“You are very mistaken to think that the indigenous person who is servile is good, while the indigenous person who is critical of your government is part of the elite and a golden poncho,” said Tibán. “If this is what you think, it is a very poor definition and an unacceptable perspective.”
In a November 2004 article discussing Pachakutik’s political clout, The Economist observed: “Some Pachakutik and CONAIE members have been criticised for wearing “golden ponchos”—ie, succumbing to elitism.”

Dictionary of unconsidered lexicographical trifles. 2014.

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