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Hugo Blanco Galdós was born in Cusco, Peru on November 15, 1934. Hugo is a Peruvian political figure, leader of the Confederación Campesina del Perú (CCP, Campesino Confederation of Peru), leader of Trotsky’s Fourth International and a writer. [side note: Confederación Campesina del Perú is a farmers’ movement in Peru. CCP was founded on April 11, 1947.]
In the early 1960s, Hugo Blanco launched Peru’s first agrarian reform, as an initiative of self-organized campesinos in the valleys of La Convención and Lares in Cuzco department, where an oppressive feudalistic share-cropping system had been in place for generations. When this movement to take back the land was met with repression, he formed a campesino self-defense militia which was the first armed struggle of the radical left in Peru. Captured and sentenced to life in prison in 1962, he was released and exiled following the populist military coup of Gen. Juan Velasco eight years later. He returned to Peru to participate in crafting the new constitution when civilian rule was restored in 1978. In 1980, he was a presidential candidate, and was serving as a senator with the United Left party when he again had to flee the country with Alberto Fujimori’s suspension of democratic rule in 1992. He today publishes the journal Lucha Indigena, and is a leading voice in support of the indigenous movement in Peru’s Amazon.