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Chapter 2 considers Llamojha’s first major action as a rural activist: his work to defend indigenous peasants who labored on the Jhajhamarka (also spelled Ccaccamarca) hacienda in the Peruvian department of Ayacucho. This chapter outlines the colonial history of the hacienda, explaining how it had been owned by a convent and then came under the control of abusive administrators and hacendados. With Llamojha’s help, Jhajhamarka’s peasants formed a union, went on strike, and ultimately gained ownership of the hacienda. This struggle took place in a context of growing protest in the Andean countryside and began just before General Manuel Odría seized national power in a military coup. Although Llamojha was not a member of the Peruvian Communist Party, his opponents cast his work as that of a communist to delegitimize his efforts to win justice. This chapter introduces Llamojha’s ideas about the Quechua language and his vision of the need for anticolonial orthography.

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