Reasons for the creation of different Quechua media outlets

  •  Even though, Quechua has been in Peru longer than Spanish, it only became an official language in 1975. However, not much was done to promote Quechua as an official language until recently. The new found interest of the government  to include Quechua speakers in politics and other topics is helping the growth of new quechua communication outlets. For example, on November 12, Radio Nacional Del Peru (Peru’s national radio) started broadcasting in Quechua.
  • Creation of INDEPA -Instituto Nacional de Desarrollo de Pueblos Andinos, Amazónicos y Afroperuanos (Spanish: Institute for Development of Andean, Amazonian and Afro-Peruvians; Peru) Organization that promotes identity as well as helps people organized and fight for their rights.

  • Non-governmental organization (NGO) and industries helped financed many radio stations. For example Xstrata, a mining company, helps finance community radios in Southern Peru: Radio Surphuy and  Stereo Tintaya
  • Education in Quechua has brought many youtube tv channels and projects in Quechua. For example, La Asociación para la Promoción de la Educación y el Desarrollo de Apurímac – Tarpurisunchis (The association to promote education and development in Apurimac) has started their own tv series through Youtube.
  • Access to internet is higher compare to other developing countries. According to the report, Peru – Broadband and Broadcasting Market – Overview, Statistics and Forecasts:  “Internet user penetration in Peru is considerably higher than average for Latin America, a remarkable achievement compared with Peru’s other economic indicators. The success of the Internet in Peru is primarily due to the mushrooming of cheap public Internet facilities known as cabinas publicas. In fact, Peru is a world leader in terms of users who access the Internet in public places.” The report explains why Peru despite its economic disparity has a considerable internet penetration. More than half internet user do not have internet at home but they are constantly only through cabinas publicas, a room set up as an office with cubicles where people pay a certain fee to use the internet for a set amount of time.

  • Groups such as Living Cultural Story bases (LCS) set up workshops where they teach young people how to use cameras and audio recoding devices to record their rich culture. They also teach them how to set up their own blogs that are mostly written in Spanish but the radio recording of old tales are all in Quechua. This way both Spanish and Quechua speakers can enjoy and learn about the folktales, stories and advice from the elders.

Discrimination in Peruvian Media

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Quechua is the second most spoken language in Peru. About 13% of the population speaks Quechua.  However, Quechua speakers are discriminated against.  The views are changing about Quechua but not long ago people who spoke Spanish as a second language were ridiculed by the Spanish speakers. In other words, bilingual Peruvians (Spanish and Quechua speakers) were mistreated by Peruvians who only spoke Spanish.

Even though, indigenous people in Peru conform around 22% of the population, there is a lot of discrimination against them. They are treated as second rate citizens and are not even allow entrance in certain areas such as LacoMar mall. Prejudices against indigenous Peruvians is strong even in the media. This video shows the truth about commercials and shows in Peru.

In a country where the majority of people are mestizo (some type of mix between European, Native Peruvian, Black and Asian )  most if not all signs and commercials display white people. So in a country where 57% of its population is of mix heritage, most of the media portraits white people who are less than 5% of the population. This happens because the bulk of the power in Peru is located in the white elite of Lima.

The prejudice and racism is even display openly in Peru’s biggest newspapers such as El Comercio. It published the above article were it humiliates a congresswoman for her poor Spanish written skills. The congresswoman Hilaria Supa thought herself how to read and write. She represents a community of Cuzco where the majority of people speak Quechua. This is article is an incident in a long history of prejudice by the media against Quechua speakers.

Racism is so ingrained in Peruvian society that most peruvians do not even notice. Characters that in the US are blatantly racist, are openly accepted in Peruvian society. For example “La Paisana Jacinta” is a character created by a mestizo comedian. She has no teeth, not much education and she is from a poor town in the center of Peru. Her name itself is racist: “This countrywoman Jacinta”. This show is a vivid representation of what is wrong with the Peruvian media. An indigenous woman unjustly portrait by a mestizo man broadcasted by Frecuencia Latina that is owned by an Israel-born Jewish man.

That is the biggest problem with Peru, the disparity of wealth that causes so many problems. Such as the under and missed interpretation of one of the biggest populations in Peru by a powerful minority. For a full link of Peruvian racist characters click on the picture below.

La Paisana Jacinta is a missinterpretation of the Andean woman, next to her Magaly Soler, a prominent Peruvian actress and indigenous rights activist