Writer & Sociologist

The British Bulletin of Publications on Latin America, the Caribbean, Portugal and Spain

The Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Council,
2 Belgrave Square, London SW1X 8PJ
Bulletin #98 – April 1998
ISSN 02268-2400

Aliaga, Jorge -Terrorism in Peru. A dissertation submitted in part fulflilment of the Master of Arts degree in the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Glasgow. Jananti. 1995. 63pp., map, figs, refs, photos, tables. Paperback

A diminutive publication with a vast amount of information, written by a Peruvian author with a passion for this subject and the unrepresented peoples of this Andean republic. The inconsistencies, spelling mistakes, variable quality of translation from the Spanish (or lack of them in some cases) and slight inaccuracies can, to a large degree, be overlooked when reading this book. Much has been written about Sendero over the past fifteen years, but the MRTA had not received much press attention until late 1996 and early 1997 (after the publication of this dissertation). This imbalance is to some extent redressed here, with the author’s personal interest in the MRTA reflected in the final pages, as is his admiration for the Peruvian reformer Mariategui. Somewhat odd is the author’s tacit support for the military dictator Juan Velasco Alvarado, as he was largely responsible for runing the Peruvian economy in the late 70′s with vast purchases of military equipment from Cuba and Russia, the implementation of much needed but badly planned agrarian reforms which Aliaga refers to as ‘timid reforms”), and general overreaction to Nothern hemisphere economic imperialism. Mariategui wrote about Peru and its current and future problems in the 20s and 30s; the present author should be encouraged to write more about his interpretation of Peru’s reality and how Mariateguui’s “seven essays” could influence contemporary Peruvian politics.