Modernity at the Edge of Empire: State, Individual, and Nation in the Northern Peruvian Andes, 1885-1935

By David Nugent | Go to book overview

7 Modernity as Emancipation II

The 'Alianza Popular Revolucionaria Americana'

I spoke to them [peasant and mestizo "students" in the Popular University] in the following way: "How may great minds, how many deputies, senators, and doctors are there among you but who can never be so because you are from Quinjalca or Yambajalca or from whatever village and because you do not have a white face and a 'proper' last name. . . . Who among you can become officers in the military? . . . To become an officer you cannot be illegitimate. You must be white, tall, of good name and with blue eyes."

Victor Santillán Gutierrez, September 15, 1993, speaking of his organizing efforts among the peasantry of Amazonas in the early 1930s on behalf of the APRA

In the latter half of 1929, fifteen to twenty adolescents began to meet in secret on Sundays at midnight in the cemetery of Chachapoyas. The vanguard of a new persecuted political party (the Alianza Popular Revolucionaria Americana, or APRA), they were deeply committed to transforming regional society so that equality and justice would obtain, so that the individual would be freed from relations of servitude with the more powerful. 1

Great care had to be taken to arrive at the cemetery undetected by the gendarmes, who were constantly on watch for "suspicious nocturnal activities" as they patrolled the town armed with rifles. It was essential to pass along the quiet streets of Chachapoyas without being seen, as far as the town's eastern perimeter. Beyond this was a wooded ravine that led southward toward the cemetery. Several times the gendarmes spotted the young people as they attempted to reach the ravine, and gave chase while shooting their rifles. Al

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Modernity at the Edge of Empire: State, Individual, and Nation in the Northern Peruvian Andes, 1885-1935
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents xi
  • 1 - Introduction Tradition, Modernity, Nation, and State 1
  • 2 - State, Region, and Casta 23
  • 3 - The Contradictions of Casta Rule 58
  • 4 - Casta Contradictions Historicized 104
  • 5 - The Cultural Politics of Casta Rule 142
  • 6 - Modernity as Emancipation I 174
  • 7 - Modernity as Emancipation II 232
  • 8 - The Disintegration of the Casta Order 256
  • 9 - Conclusion Modernity at the Edge of Empire 308
  • Reference Matter 325
  • Notes 327
  • Bibliography 375
  • Index 395
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