The editorial categories are research topics that have guided researchers during the recovery phase and continue to be the impetus behind the Documents Project’s digital archive and the Critical Documents book series. Developed by the project’s Editorial Board, each of the teams analyzed this framework and adapted it to their local contexts in developing their research objectives and work plans during the Recovery Phase. Learn more on the Editorial Framework page.
This is the official transcript of the speech given by General Juan Velasco Alvarado, the president of the Peruvian military junta, at the closing ceremony of the thirty-ninth Congreso Internacional de Americanistas in Lima in August 1970. He used the occasion to explain “the anthropocentric value (…) that defines the essence of our movement” because “we want to create a society in which people not only have more, but are more, in real and authentic ways.” He justified the distance from communism and capitalism of the Junta, left and right, on the grounds that “we reject being included in the blueprints of that hopelessly discredited political geometry.” Aware of the structural changes underway, his government is “remodeling” the country’s sociocultural profile. He asks intellectuals and artists to support the social reforms under way. He also announces that the country will soon have a grand Museo de la Cultura Peruana.
This transcript is one of the very few records of General Juan Velasco Alvarado (1910–77) speaking about intellectual matters, despite the fact that his self-styled Gobierno Revolucionario de las Fuerzas Armadas (1968–75) paid particular attention to its cultural policies. The speech, which Velasco obviously did not write—no president does—might have been written by Carlos Delgado Olivera, one of the main ideological thinkers of the regime. The Museo de la Cultura Peruana was actually never built (it should be noted, however, that the extremely precarious institution that currently bears that name was created in 1946).
A year after the start of the agrarian reform (1969), this was the first official reference to Túpac Amaru II (1738–81)—the Inca chieftain who led the revolution of the Andean people against the Spanish Empire in 1780—as a national hero. This presidential speech was given at the thirty-ninth Congreso Internacional de Americanistas in August 1970. Some people were incensed when the historian Daniel Valcárcel (1911–2007) announced that the indigenous harbinger of Peruvian independence “never wore a hat” as he does in the regime’s official images. Those associated with the government interpreted that (apparently academic) observation as an attack on the regime’s most iconic symbol, and a violent debate ensued.
[As complementary reading about Túpac Amaru II, see the following articles in the ICAA digital archive: by General EP Felipe de la Barra “¿Cómo fue Túpac Amaru?” (doc. no. 865441); (unattributed) “Convocan a concurso: monumento a Túpac Amaru se levantará en el Cuzco” (doc. no. 1053438); (unattributed) “Convocan a concurso de pintura para perpetuar la imagen plástica del mártir José Gabriel Condorcanqui” (doc. no. 865422); by Alfredo Arrisueño Cornejo “Declaran desierto el Concurso de Pintura ‘Túpac Amaru II’” (doc. no. 865498); (unattributed) “En busca de la imagen arquetípica de Túpac Amaru” (doc. no. 865702); by Daniel Valcárcel “El retrato de Túpac Amaru” (doc. no. 1052165); and by A. O. Z. “Túpac Amaru: ¿verdadero retrato?” (doc. no. 865460)].