Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Jorge Ramírez, “We want win respect for our rights and to have an important political presence,” March 5, 2009.

[In many countries, civil society is stronger than it was 50 years ago. This article identifies a large number of organizations in Peru. -jlt]

What is the history of Afro-Peruvian organizations? When did they come about and why?

Starting in 1950 various organizing processes began in Peru to fight discrimination and to strengthen our identity and self-esteem. During the 1950s and 60s, there were some important experiences. The first was the Cumananá group, led by siblings Victoria and Nicomedes Santa Cruz. They carried out an important work by compiling and disseminating Afro-Peruvian culture´s contributions, using black Peruvian dance, music, theater and song.

In the 1960s the Melamodernos formed, led by lawyer Juan Tasayco, who, inspired by the civil rights movements in the United States, proposed demanding our civil and social rights as citizens in Peru. Tasayco was one of the pioneers of the sentiment of citizenship that today motivates many Afro-Peruvian organizations.

  We are pushing for the state to launch education programs with an identity element and for Congress to write stronger laws against discrimination.

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