AFTERWORD
Have to Stand Firm”
THE ELDERLY ACTIVIST, 2000–2015
Using the bright glare of an exposed light bulb to help him see, Llamojha sat
at his desk, looking through his many papers about past and present strug-
gles. We had celebrated his ninety-second birthday earlier that day in May
2013, but that evening he had stubbornly resisted our calls for him to rest,
relax, and go to bed early. He simply had too much work to do. Despite his
failing eyesight and limited mobility, he remains determined to continue his
activist work as an elderly man. This afterword reflects on Llamojha’s com-
mitment to activism across the twentieth century and into the twenty-first.
He pushes on, maneuvering through the terrible difficulties of aging, illness,
and loss.
Although Llamojha has lived into the twenty-first century, he built his life
as an activist in Latin America’s “century of revolution.”1 He fought for change
in the heady years of the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s, when fundamental social,
economic, and political transformation seemed not only possible but immi-
nent, a time of incredible revolutionary excitement and exhilaration through-
out Latin America and much of the world. He continued these struggles in
the 1970s, when Peruvian activists fell into the kind of bitter infighting that
hobbled much of the Latin American left, and he pressed forward through
the 1980s and 1990s, when the militants of the Shining Path used extremist
violence in their pursuit of revolutionary transformation. Llamojha’s polit-
“You
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