Moments ago, we received information from Cuzco, Peru that police had detained veteran activist Hugo Blanco. We believe that the news deserved this rapid alert. Here is what the Periodico Lucha Indigena, the newspaper that Hugo edits, is reporting:
This morning, in the Poroy commissary, Hugo Blanco was detained for failing to appear in Paruro court after having been subpoenaed and was taken to Cuzco’s Palace of Justice holding facility. The court case at hand has to do with land stolen from campesinos by the son of a former hacienda owner in Huanoquite. The police took the side of the son, accusing the campesinos of “resisting authority.” (The campesinos however were not accused of illegally occupying the land because in reality they were only taking back land for which they have legal title, but that had only been partially restored to its legal owners).
Among the accused was Hugo, for having supported the campesinos despite the fact that he was not even present the day the incident took place. Hugo was thus charged with resisting authority, but was not notified. He therefore did not appear in court as mandated and the judge ordered his arrest. Tomorrow, he will be taken to Paruro to testify. We call on all grassroots organizations, press outlets and human rights defenders to join in solidarity and spread this news. Let’s hope that this case is settled soon and that it will serve as a stinging denouncement of the abuse against this community of campesinos, the legitimate owners of the land at hand.
Luis A. Gomez
-Editors, Ukhampacha Bolivia
[below are two videos of Hugo Blanco speaking in Canada last year]