Peru, in contrast to neighbouring Bolivia and Ecuador, has neither an important indigenous party nor a strong indigenous movement. Nevertheless, in recent years a growing gap has emerged in the voting patterns of indigenous and non-indigenous areas. This article maintains that this gap has developed because some Peruvian politicians, including Alberto Fujimori, Alejandro Toledo and Ollanta Humala, successfully wooed indigenous voters with a combination of ethnic and populist appeals. Like traditional populist leaders, they denounced the political elites, focused their campaigns on the poor and presented themselves as the saviours of Peru, but also forged ties to indigenous leaders, invoked indigenous symbols and embraced some ethnic demands. Although neither Fujimori, nor Toledo, nor Humala self-identified as indigenous, they successfully presented themselves as more ethnically proximate to the indigenous population than their main competitors, who represented the white Lima elite.