Haya de la Torre, Víctor Raúl

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Haya de la Torre, Víctor Raúl

Víctor Raúl Haya de la Torre (vēk´tôr räōōl´ ä´yä dā lä tô´rĕ), 1895–1979, Peruvian political leader, founder of the APRA party. Although he never held power and spent much of his political life in exile or in prison, he had great influence on contemporary hemispheric politics. A leading advocate of nationalist revolutions in Latin America, he championed the cause of the indigenous people and fought for radical, although expressly non-Communist, social and economic reforms. He was exiled in 1923 and after eight years returned to Peru, where he ran unsuccessfully for the presidency in 1931 and was imprisoned for 15 months. Because APRA advocated the overthrow of the oligarchy that had ruled Peru since colonial days, the party was outlawed from 1931 to 1934 and from 1935 to 1945, when José Luis Bustamante y Rivero became president with APRA's support. Dissident Apristas revolted in Callao in Oct., 1948; the party was again outlawed. In November, Manuel Odría seized power and forced Haya to seek asylum in the Colombian embassy in Lima. The Peruvian government granted him safe conduct in 1954 only after years of bitter denunciations from liberals throughout the hemisphere. APRA was legalized in 1956, but Haya continued to live mostly abroad until 1962 when he returned to campaign for the presidency. He obtained a slim plurality but not enough to be constitutionally elected; a military junta nullified the elections. Running again in 1963, Haya was defeated, but APRA remained popular.

See study by R. J. Alexander (1973).

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