In January 1958, the townspeople of San Pedro de Buena Vista hunted down and killed peasant leader Narciso Torrico, sparking a wave of violence that provoked repeated state interventions in northern Potosí department, Bolivia. Encouraged by the Movimiento Nacionalista Revolucionario (MNR) state's rightward turn, local elites had regrouped to challenge revolutionary change. Meanwhile, José Rojas—a powerful peasant leader and key MNR ally—faced a crucial crossroads. Repeatedly tapped by state authorities to pacify San Pedro de Buena Vista, Rojas vacillated between asserting political autonomy and acquiescing to state power. While previous scholarship has viewed Rojas's relationship with the revolutionary state as clear evidence of the MNR's co-optation of Bolivian peasants, the events of 1958 provide a powerful counterpoint to this narrative. I argue that crucial intermediaries like Rojas evaded state agents' control in spite of their public support for the MNR, thus challenging the historiographical portrayal of peasant leaders' passivity in the postrevolutionary years.

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