Peruvian activist speaks on struggles of indigenous people

The University Colloquium on the Global South at York will kick off its 2007-2008 series with a seminar hosted by Peruvian activist, Hugo Blanco Galdós. The seminar, titled "The Struggles of Indigenous People in Peru: Historical Overview & Current Situation", will take place this evening, starting at 6pm, at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE/UT), Room 2211, 252 Bloor Street West, Toronto. 

Right: Hugo Blanco Galdós

In his talk, Blanco Galdós will provide an analytical overview of the advances and setbacks of the indigenous social struggles in Peru and the factors that determine it within the global context and the politics in the continent. He will share the lessons he learned from over four decades of direct engagement in indigenous struggles for peace and social justice in Peru.

Born in the Quechua nation, Cusco, Peru, Blanco Galdós was inspired as a child by an indigenous teacher who shared stories of resistance to persecution of the Peru’s indigenous people by landowners. Blanco Galdós became a leader of the indigenous uprising in the Cusco region of Tawantinsuyo, Peru, in the early 1960s. The uprising put an end to the feudal system of haciendas, instituting instead an agrarian reform in which the land belonged to those who worked it. In the late 70s, he was imprisoned, threatened with death, exiled and finally freed thanks to pressure from the indigenous movement in Peru and international pressure. Blanco Galdós’ 1972 book, Land or Death, tells the story of Peruvian people’s struggle against colonialism. Today, Blanco Galdós is the director of the newspaper, Lucha Indígena (Indigenous Struggle).

The talk is co-sponsored by the Transformative Learning Centre and Indigenous Education Network (OISE/UT) and the following York University organizations: Centre for Research on Latin America & the Caribbean; University Consortium on the Global South; International Development Studies Program, Division of Social Science, Graduate Program in Social Anthropology; International Development Studies Program and Labour Studies Program in York’s Faculty of Arts; York Centre for Asian Research and the York University Bookstore. Other sponsors include the Evolving Stories Project – School of Image Arts at Ryerson University; and the Pachamama Association.

The University Colloquium on the Global South is an open space for debate and critical inquiry for students, faculty members, NGOs, social activists and policy makers. Colloquia are free and do not require pre-registration.

For information or to register for updates, visit the University Consortium on the Global South Web site.