For Justice, Land, and Liberty: National and International Leadership, 1961–1968
2016. "For Justice, Land, and Liberty: National and International Leadership, 1961–1968", Now Peru Is Mine: The Life and Times of a Campesino Activist, Manuel Llamojha Mitma, Jaymie Patricia Heilman
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Chapter 4 explores how Llamojha ascended to a national leadership position and began international political work. In 1961 he started working with indigenous peasants from the Pomacocha hacienda, participating in Ayacucho’s most famous land struggle. In 1962 he ran unsuccessfully for a seat in Peru’s congress as a candidate for the left-wing National Liberation Front and was elected leader of the Peruvian Peasant Confederation. In 1965 he accepted a series of international invitations, traveling to Cuba, the Soviet Union, and China. Those trips marked the pinnacle of his activist career but also led to a yearlong imprisonment for presumed communist sympathies. This chapter highlights the political excitement of the Cold War years, the painful realities of state-sponsored anticommunist repression, and the hardships of prison. It considers Peru’s first efforts at formal agrarian reform. Finally, this chapter explains how Llamojha began working with Saturnino Paredes, the founder of the Peruvian Communist Party-Bandera Roja (Red Flag).