Politics in Peru, Venezuela, and Colombia has become increasingly polarized around populist figures, Alberto Fujimori, Hugo Chávez, and Alvaro Uribe. These leaders have sparked the emergence of political movements made up of avid supporters. They have also provoked the emergence of equally passionate opponents. These supporters and opponents appear to strongly identify with “their” movement, creating ostensibly enduring political divides.
This presentation marks the beginning of an ongoing research project that seeks to understand the citizens who constitute these enduring identity movements. We ask several questions: Who are these (anti-)identifers? Where do they stand politically? What effect do they have on politics in their country? Finally, where passions for and against the populist figure are particularly salient, will these groups defend their beliefs, even at the expense of democratic norms and ideals?