Modernization, Dislocation, and Aprismo: Origins of the Peruvian Aprista Party, 1870-1932

Modernization, Dislocation, and Aprismo: Origins of the Peruvian Aprista Party, 1870-1932

Modernization, Dislocation, and Aprismo: Origins of the Peruvian Aprista Party, 1870-1932

Modernization, Dislocation, and Aprismo: Origins of the Peruvian Aprista Party, 1870-1932

Excerpt

The pink-stuccoed, oval Plaza de Acho, adjacent to the Rimac River in the heart of old Lima, had on many previous occasions been the scene of great pageantry and drama. There were the times during the colonial period when the viceroy, attended with great pomp and ceremony by his court, would turn out in all his dazzling finery during the Feria del Señor de Los Milagros to view-along with all Lima-the tauromachian skills of the world's best bullfighters. On a gray, overcast Sunday afternoon in the winter of 1931, however, Acho was witness to a unique and totally different sort of drama. For on that day before a huge throng of working and middle-class Limeños, it was not a torero who received the ringing approval of the crowds, but rather a handsome, young, aspiring provincial politician-barely thirty-six years old and a candidate for president. His voice, occasionally cracking with emotion, pierced the heavy Lima mist with stinging attacks on the old order and exhortations to the crowd to join with him to forge a new, revolutionary Peruvian society. As he reached the end of his speech, he paused briefly and then, to the delight of the mass, closed with the words "solo el Aprismo podrá salvarnos" (only Aprismo can be our salvation).

To thousands of Peruvians in 1931 that emotion-packed phrase touched a vital cord. Unsettled by the impact of the depression and moved by the constant revolutionary rhetoric of Víctor Raúl Haya de la Torre, the spell- binding orator that winter afternoon in Acho, they flocked in ever increasing numbers to the banners of his fledgling Peruvian Aprista party (Partido Aprista Peruano-PAP). A few months later they would give his new political movement, in a bitterly fought electoral campaign, what almost amounted to a stunning upset at the polls. The election launched . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.