Hugo Blanco

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For the Venezuelan musician, see Hugo Blanco (musician).
Hugo Blanco
Born Hugo Blanco Galdós
(1934-11-15) November 15, 1934 (age 82)
Cuzco, Peru
Organization Confederación Campesina del Perú
Children Oscar Blanco, Carmen Blanco Valer

Hugo Blanco Galdós (born November 15, 1934) is a Peruvian political figure, leader of the Confederación Campesina del Perú (CCP, Campesino Confederation of Peru), leader of Trotsky's Fourth International[1][2] and a writer.

Early life[edit]

When Blanco was a child he heard that a landowner applied a redhot iron on an indigenous man.[3] When he was 10 he met an indigenous leader who told him the story of his struggles.[3] He involved himself in school strikes against Odria, which the students won.[3] At age 20 he traveled to Buenos Aires and began studying in the university.[3] There he joined a workers' party after he met Argentinian Trotskyists. Without finishing his agronomical studies in Argentina's Universidad de la Plata he became a worker in a factory because he did not want to work for the landowners.[3] He worked on a coffee plantation as a subtenant farmer.[4]

Peasant struggle[edit]

Returning to Peru he joined the Revolutionary Workers Party (POR) in Lima and participated in the famous protest to the then Vice-President of the United States, Richard Nixon, in 1958 . Following those demonstrations, Blanco caught the attention of the police, and decided to move to his home region in the Convencion Valley. Here he took residence in 1958 as a subtenant farmer, immersing himself in local politics.[5] Beginning in 1958, with the help of students from the Cuzco University, Blanco’s Quechua federation mobilized the allegados against the hacendados and arrendires.[6]

In the early 1960s[7] he led the Quechua peasant uprising in the Cuzco region of Peru. He was the first who managed to build a bridge between the Spanish speaking intellectuals and the Quechua speaking workers.[8] He organised the 2000 peasants in trade unions which occupied the landowners' lands and organised the defence of the occupations against the police and the landowners.[9] His organisation controlled an area, where national control did not exist, there he put an agrarian reform into effect.[10] He set up a peasant trade union in the valleys of Convencion and Lares in Cuzco.[9] Blanco's Chaupimayo Community had its government, public law, popular justice, defense and education, Blanco called this "dual power"[8] It was reported at this time that, while he was arresting a hacienda owner in Pucyura who raped a little girl, he shot a police officer in self-defense. According to some historians this seems to be propaganda, since he could not have been at Pucyura at the time.[11] De la Puente rejected a union with Blanco because Blanco was a Trotskyist.[9] Captured by the military, he was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment on the island of El Frontón. Nearly all his Trotskyist comrades where already in prison when he was captured.[12] In 1963, unionists took the city of Quillabamba, who were carrying out an order, that was issued in Cuzco by the Federation, to go on strike, so that some imprisoned union leaders, among them, Hugo Blanco would be freed.[13] During his imprisonment he wrote Land or Death: The Peasant Struggle in Peru. During this time he exchanged letters with José María Arguedas which were written in Quechua.[14] In 1968 he was chosen by the Swedish section of Amnesty International as prisoner of the Year.[15]


In 1971 Blanco was deported to Chile. During Augusto Pinochet's coup on September 11, 1973, he took refuge at the Swedish embassy,[16] from where he was smuggled out of the country under dramatic circumstances under the leadership of Ambassador Harald Edelstam in 1976[17][18] following an international solidarity campaign that included Jean-Paul Sartre,[3][19] Simone de Beauvoir,[19] and Bertrand Russell.[19][20] In 1976, he became a political refugee in Sweden,[21] where he supported himself among another Jobs as a language teacher at Sando school and as a warehouse worker in a Press Office. In 1977, the Canadian Organisation USLA achieved to get a nonimmigrant visa for Hugo Blanco so he could travel to the U.S.A. where he spoke on a tour that was organized by USLA. Blanco spoke to approximately 10,000 people in the U.S.A.[19][22][23]

Return to Peru[edit]

After spending several years of exile in Sweden, Mexico and Chile he returned to Peru in 1978, was a founder of the Workers Revolutionary Party and was elected to parliament on a left-wing slate.[24]

In 1980 he was a presidential candidate in Peru, a Leftist Revolutionary Alliance formed to support him.[25] He came in fourth out of sixteen candidates. In 1983 he accused General Clemente Noel, who was then the military chief of the Ayacucho region of murder. Because of this he was suspended from his seat until the end of the current session.[26]

He served in the Peruvian Senate as a representative of the Partido Unificado Mariateguista until 1992 because of Alberto Fujimori's "self-coup" and declaration of a state of emergency, after he received information that both the Peruvian Intelligence Police and by Shining Path had sentenced him to death.[3] Together with two of his children and his wife, he fled to Mexico where he was granted asylum following.[3][27][28]

After the Healy Group stated that Joseph Hansen, George Novack and the Socialist Workers Party were aiding Joseph Stalin’s assassins, he signed a statement that refuted the allegations against them.[29]

Hugo Blanco is currently Director of a Cusco-based newspaper called Lucha Indígena, and a member of the editorial board of Sin Permiso. He stated that today it is no longer logical to form a Trotskyist party.[7] Today he believes in the Ideology of Zapatism.[7]

In 2008 he was arrested for the crime of “Violence and resisting authority"[30][31] Many people and institutions[32][33][34] demanded his liberation,[35] and since he was not present at the date where the Incident happened, the authorities freed him.


In 1991 Blanco published a text in which he described that the inhabitants of the town of Ilo and surrounding villages where defending their villages against pollution from the Southern Peru Copper corporation.[36] In 2008 he signed The Belem Ecosocialist Declaration.[37] He said that he supports the workers of the Vestas Wind Turbine on the Isle of Wight who had occupied their factory.[38] In 2010 during September and October he toured Britain. A group of green leftists organized lectures by him all over the country.[39][40][41][42] He said that the current struggle of the indigenous people is not only socialistic but also ecological.[43]

Private life[edit]

He is the father of six children, including Carmen Blanco Valer, (born 1959), who grew up in Sweden, who is a chairman of the Group Solidarity Sweden-Latin America[44] In 2002 Hugo Blanco suffered a brain hemorrhage during a visit in a peasant community in the cusco region. Despite all difficulties he managed to be treated in Mexico City, where he remained in Hospital until during 2003.[45] Friends and colleguages from all around the world helped him with the hospital bills[46]

His granddaughter, by way of his daughter Carmen, is Sissela Nordling Blanco, Spokesperson of the Swedish Feminist Initiative party and candidate for the Riksdag (the Swedish parliament) in the 2014 general election.


"I do not believe in struggling to take power, but to build it."[47]

"We must initiate this revolution within ourselves."[48]



  • 1972 Land or death: the peasant struggle in Perú
  • 1972 Hugo Blanco on Chile & Peru
  • 1973 Argentinien und Bolivien: eine Bilanz
  • 1973 The coup in Chile: firsthand report and assessment
  • 1974 Disaster in Chile: Allende Strategy and Why it Failed
  • 1978 Workers and peasants to power!: a revolutionary program for Peru

Unknown date : Poems form the Struggle in Latin America together with Cesar Vallejo, Otto René Castillo, Leonel Rugama, Haydée Santamaría, Silvio Rodriguez, Carlos Maria Gutierrez, Roque Dalton, Arqueles Morales[49]


  • 1964 A debate on strategy, Cuzco and the specificities of the struggles in Peru[50]
  • 2001 Elections in Peru / together with Juan Abugatas[51][52]
  • 2003 Experiences in International Solidarity[53]
  • 2006 A revolutionary process that is different[54]
  • 2006 Progress of the indigenous movement against the system[55]
  • 2007 The Epic Struggle of Indigenous Andean-Amazonian Cultures[19]
  • 2007 Peru: The earthquake And The vultures[56]
  • 2007 A Triumphant Advance - Landslide victory for the Alianza País[57]
  • 2007 Biography[3]
  • 2007 The "Indian Problem" In Peru: From Mariategui To Today[58]
  • 2007 Chile: The Lesson That Venezuela Learned?[59]
  • 2008 Appeal: Répression in Peru Intensifies[60]
  • 2008 Peru: Hugo Blanco—My arrest[61]
  • 2008 "I promise to keep fighting until my last breath" - My arrest[62]
  • 2008 The Fight for Indigenous Rights[63]
  • 2009 Massacre at Bagua[64]
  • 2009 Peru: Amazonian indigenous people rise up[65]
  • 2009 From the other side of the world, Hugo Blanco thanks the Vestas workers[38]
  • 2010 Only extinction of capitalism will ensure the survival of our species.[66]
  • 2010 Reply To Pablo Stefanoni’s ‘Indianismo and Panchamamismo’[67]

Interviews with him :

  • 1976 The Masses have realised how little has changed[68]
  • 2008 No contradiction between my indigenous struggle and dialectical materialism by Yásser Gómez[69]
  • 2009 Peru: veteran guerrilla fighter Hugo Blanco speaks on Amazon struggle by Bill Weinberg[70][71]
  • 2009 Indigenous people are the vanguard of the fight to save the Earth[72]

Books about him:

  • 1967 Free Hugo Blanco / by Andre Gunder Frank and Kenneth Golby
  • 1967 Hugo Blanco Must Not Die - An address to a meeting in solidarity with the imperilled Peruvian leader and the freedom struggle in Latin America/ by Andre Gunder Frank published by University of Toronto

Films about him:

  • 1970 Hans Peter, Pfeifer - WHAT HAPPENED TO CHE GUEVARA?: In the country of Hugo Blanco[73]


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  16. ^ Political Organizer For Disability Rights, 1970s-1990s, And Strategist For Section 504 Demonstrations, 1977 Kitty Cone An Interview Conducted by David Landes
  17. ^ "Article ''Diplomaten som tog ställning'' 2007-08-19". Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
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  20. ^ A Bibliography of Bertrand Russell: I. Separate Publications II. Serial Publications III. Indexes
  21. ^ "[Europe Solidaire Sans Frontičres] About Hugo Blanco". Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  22. ^ "January 26, 2004 - Mirta Vidal, lifelong socialist". The Militant. Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  23. ^ Intercontinental Press, 1976 Page 428
  24. ^ "Hugo Blanco: Nuestra Cultura". Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
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  26. ^ International Trotskyism, 1929-1985: a documented analysis of the movement. by Robert Jackson Alexander. 1991 Page 645
  27. ^ MEXICO GRANTED POLITICAL ASYLUM TO PERUVIAN SENATOR, Latin American Business News Wire Notimex/Federal News Service, 8 July 1992
  28. ^ PERUVIAN POLITICAL CRISIS: SUMMARY OF EVENTS, APRIL 8, Notisur-South American & Caribbean Political Affairs Latin American Database/Latin American Institute, April 22, 1992
  29. ^ "The Verdict: Is a Shameless Frame-up!". 2002-12-29. Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
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  34. ^ "[Europe Solidaire Sans Frontičres] Libérez Hugo Blanco !". Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  35. ^ "[Europe Solidaire Sans Frontičres] Protest the arrest of Hugo Blanco! – Send in this letter of protest now!". 2008-10-02. Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  36. ^ "Ecology and socialism". Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  37. ^ "Join with Hugo Blanco and sign the ecosocialist declaration!". Socialist Unity. Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  38. ^ a b From the other side of the world, Hugo Blanco thanks the Vestas workers
  39. ^ "Yahoo! Groups". Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
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  41. ^ [1] Archived September 19, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  42. ^ Archived from the original on October 9, 2010. Retrieved October 10, 2010.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  43. ^ Kommentar posten. "Es geht ums Überleben der Menschheit". Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  44. ^ "Detención arbitraria del dirigente campesino y luchador social peruano Hugo Blanco Galdos". Punto de Vista Internacional. Archived from the original on 2011-07-27. Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
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  46. ^ "Donate generously to save Hugo Blanco –Urgent Appeal.". Asian Tribune. 2002-09-19. Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  47. ^ "Peru: veteran guerilla fighter Hugo Blanco speaks on Amazon struggle | World War 4 Report". Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  48. ^ Roberts, Wayne (2007-10-18). "NOW Magazine // News // The convert". Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  49. ^ [2][dead link]
  50. ^ Europe Solidaire, A debate on strategy, Cuzco and the specificities of the struggles in Peru, Hugo Blanco, 1964
  51. ^ Internationalviewpoint Blanco, Hugo (2001). "Elections in Peru / together with Juan Abugatas". Internationalviewpoint. 
  52. ^ Blanco, Hugo (2003). "Hugo Blanco greets Congress". 
  53. ^ "[Europe Solidaire Sans Frontičres] Experiences in International Solidarity". Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  54. ^ "A revolutionary process that is different". 2006-08-06. Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
    "[Europe Solidaire Sans Frontičres] Bolivia: A revolutionary process that is different". Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  55. ^ "About Hugo Blanco by Phil COURNOYER". Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  56. ^ "Peru: The earthquake And The vultures". 2007-08-21. Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  57. ^ "A Triumphant Advance - Landslide victory for the Alianza País". Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
    "A triumphant advance in Ecuador". 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  58. ^ "The "Indian Problem" In Peru: From Mariategui To Today". 2007-03-29. Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
    "[Europe Solidaire Sans Frontičres] The "Indian Problem" in Peru: From Mariategui to Today". Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  59. ^ "[Europe Solidaire Sans Frontičres] Chile: The Lesson That Venezuela Learned?". Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  60. ^ "Appeal: Répression in Peru Intensifies". Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  61. ^ "Peru: Hugo Blanco - My arrest". Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  62. ^ "" I promise to keep fighting until my last breath" -My arrest". Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  63. ^ "The Fight for Indigenous Rights" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  64. ^ "Massacre at Bagua". 2009-06-05. Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  65. ^ "Peru: Amazonian indigenous people rise up". Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  66. ^ "extinction of capitalism will ensure the survival of our species'; Reunión sobre cambio climático Copenhague". 2011-03-06. Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  67. ^ "Do Indigenous Concepts Help or Hinder in Fighting the World's Climate Crisis?". Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  68. ^ Intercontinental press, Issue 14. Page 441
  69. ^ Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal, No contradiction between my indigenous struggle and dialectical materialism , Yásser Gómez, 2008 [3]
  70. ^ "Peru: veteran guerilla fighter Hugo Blanco speaks on Amazon struggle". Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  71. ^ "Peru: veteran guerilla fighter Hugo Blanco speaks on Amazon struggle" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  72. ^ "Indigenous people are the vanguard of the fight to save the Earth". 2009-09-22. Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  73. ^ "BFI | Film & TV Database | PFEIFER, Hans Peter". 2009-04-16. Retrieved 2011-03-12.