The indigenous peoples of Peru and the struggle for land
by Hugo Blanco
With a foreword by Eduardo Galeano

Eduardo Galeano writes: These pages, written in bursts, disorderly, jubilant and desperate, tell of the adventures and misfortunes of the man who headed the campesino struggle in Peru, the organiser of the rural trade unions, the man who pushed for an agrarian reform born from below and fought for from below.

Hugo Blanco has walked his country forwards and backwards, from the snow-covered mountains to the dry coast, through the rainforests where the tribes are hunted like beasts. And wherever he went, on the way he helped the fallen to get up, and the silent ones to speak.

The authorities accused him of being a terrorist. They were right. He sowed terror among the owners of land and of people. He slept under the stars and in cells occupied by rats. He went on fourteen hunger strikes. In one of them, when he could barely go on any longer, the Minister of the Interior made a kind gesture and sent him a coffin as a gift. More than once, the district attorney demanded the death penalty, and more than once the news was published that Hugo had died.

He continues to be that smart, crazy man who decided to be an Indian, even though he was not, and turned out to be the most Indian of all.

Hugo Blanco was a key protagonist in the events he describes. His vivid and direct language takes the reader on an inspirational journey to the heart of Peru - looking for a respectful relationship with Pacamama (Mother Earth), and with its indigenous communities and their struggles for land reform and change in the 1950s and 1960s.

With 15 woodcuts

ISBN 978-0-85036-738-6 paperback