Since colonial days Native Americans have been used extensively as agricultural and industrial laborers, mostly without adequate remuneration or political representation; often they have been brutally exploited. These conditions of semiservitude are still prevalent in some areas, although political upheavals, especially in Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru, have done much to create an awareness of the need for social and economic reform.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.