The Promise of APRA: 1930–1950

  • Fiona Wilson
Part of the Studies of the Americas book series (STAM)


From the early 1930s APRA held out the promise of becoming a mass opposition party with a viable agenda for modernity and political change. Founded by the exiled Víctor Raú l Haya de la Torre as a pan-American movement in 1924, it was transformed into a national political party in 1930. APRA immediately won affiliates among professional, middle, and working classes of the towns and gave an ideological boost to the formation of popular fronts, unions, and cooperatives to replace the old workers’ associations. These were heralded as forming the fabric of a new kind of civil society under the party’s wing. According to Tarma’s aprista pioneers, everybody in the town who was serious about political change had welcomed the APRA Party. Some referred back to Adolfo Vienrich, claiming that he had also been their “maestro” (teacher). But once in power as part of a coalition government under the presidency of José Luis Bustamante, from 1945 to 1948, APRA was disappointing. Not only did the party prove unequal to the challenges facing government at the time, but APRA was also seen to turn into another centralist, Lima-based party, callously seeking to impose its political will on subject provinces.


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© Fiona Wilson 2013

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  • Fiona Wilson

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