General Juan Velasco Alvarado was the military dictator of Peru from 1968 to 1975. In 1964-5 he put down revolutionary peasant guerilla movements, defending an unequal and brutally exploitative pattern of land ownership. Afterward he became frustrated with the bickering and gridlock of Peru’s parliament. With a small cadre of military coconspirators, he planned a coup d’état. Forestalling an uprising by pro-peasant parties, he sent tanks to kidnap the democratically elected president. The parliament was closed indefinitely. On the one year anniversary of his coup, Velasco stated “Some people expected very different things and were confident, as had been the custom, that we came to power for the sole purpose of calling elections and returning to them all their privileges. The people who thought that way were and are mistaken”.
What would you expect Velasco’s policy toward land ownership and peasants to be? You would probably expect him to continue their exploitation by the oligarchy land-owning families. But you would be mistaken.