“Jail Was Like My Home”: Fighting for Concepción, 1952–1961
This chapter considers Llamojha’s efforts to defend his indigenous peasant community against the abuses of local landlords during the 1950s. He also traveled frequently to nearby communities to assist in their struggles for land, as conflicts between indigenous peasants and hacendados were growing more common across Peru’s Andean region during this period. He composed legal documents for indigenous peasants and helped them acquire formal status for their rural communities. He was elected as the personero legal (legal representative) for Concepción, and local hacendados tried to annul his election. This chapter also discusses the power held by abusive district authorities. Llamojha’s life stories show the nature of rural struggles in the 1950s, the realities of harsh anti-indigenous racism, and the unfairness of the Peruvian political system. His recollections also highlight the prominent role women played in rural conflicts. In addition, this chapter considers the personal costs of Llamojha’s activism.