Marc Becker's Home Page


The Book

Find on
Indians and Leftists 

This is an Electronic Appendix of documents to accompany my book Indians and Leftists in the Making of Ecuador’s Modern Indigenous Movements (Duke University Press, 2008).

Cast of Characters

Alba, Amadeo (1928-?). Indigenous leader from the Cooperative "Atahualpa" on the Pesillo hacienda in Cayambe. He attended Neptalí Ulcuango's bilingual school and became involved in political struggles from a young age. In the early 1960s, he traveled to Cuba where he studied for a month and met with revolutionary leaders. He was often imprisoned for his actions as a communist and peasant leader in Cayambe.

Alba, Ignacio. A leader in the early organization of syndicates on the Pesillo hacienda in the 1920s, and later a leader of the cooperative at San Pablourco.

Albamocho, Juan. An Indian leader from Pucará on the Pesillo hacienda in the 1920s and 1930s. He was particularly combative, and the landlords often selected him for repressive acts, including evicting him from his huasipungo in April of 1931.

Alfaro, Eloy (1842-1912). A military general who led a liberal revolution that placed him in power on June 5, 1895. He began a process of liberal reforms that included the confiscation of church-owned lands and the secularization of education. He was overthrown in a military coup in 1911 and assassinated in Quito on January 28, 1912.

Alvaro, Luis F. Secretary General of the Comité Central de Defensa Indígena, participant in the founding of the FEI, alternative to Ricardo Paredes for the position of Functional Representative for the Indigenous Race to the 1944 National Assembly. Secretary General of the FEI in 1946, working closely with president Jesús Gualavisí.

Amaguaña, Tránsito (1909-2009). Principal Indigenous leader from La Chimba in northern Cayambe. In 1931, she was evicted along with her family from their house in Pesillo. She went to live in Yanahuaico and later moved to La Chimba when she married Manuel Túqueres. She spent her entire life organizing strikes, unions, and bilingual schools.

Arosemena Monroy, Carlos Julio (1919-2004). Velasco Ibarra's vice president in 1960 who took power when the president resigned in 1961, only subsequently to be overthrown himself in a 1963 military coup. Gained some leftist and peasant support, but was unable to implement their primary demand of agrarian reform.

Bolaños Sánchez, Luis Bolívar. A lawyer from Quito and member of the Central Committee of the PCE, organizational secretary of the CTE, and secretary-general of the FEI in the 1960s working closely with president Miguel Lechón.

Bonifaz Jijón, Emilio (1914-1994). Eldest son of Neptalí Bonifaz and the owner of the Guachalá hacienda in the 1950s who initiated a process of landlord-guided agrarian reform. He was also an amateur sociologist who wrote racist books about the Indians on his hacienda.

Bonifaz Ascásubi, Neptalí (1870-1952). Owner of the Guachalá hacienda at the height of its operations, founder of the Central Bank, and presidential candidate in 1931.

Cacuango, Dolores (1881-1971). One of the first Indigenous leaders from Cayambe and a founder and president of the FEI. Cacuango was born at San Pablourco on the Pesillo hacienda, and at the age of fifteen was sent to Quito to work as a domestic worker for the hacienda owner. The contrast she observed in the lifestyles between the landlords and peons led her to dedicate her life to struggle for Indian rights. She never had an opportunity to attend school and never learned to read and write, but struggled to assure that others would have that opportunity. Under her guidance, the first Indian bilingual schools were established in Cayambe. During the May 1944 Revolution, she led an assault on the army base in Cayambe. She was a communist leader, and suffered imprisonments and other abuses because of her political activities.

Catucuamba Cacuango, Luis (1924-). Indigenous leader and son of Dolores Cacuango. He taught at the Yanahuaico Indian school from 1945 until 1963 when a military coup shut the independent bilingual schools down.

Chávez, Luis Felipe (1882-1938). A socialist lawyer who supported Indian struggles in Cayambe in the 1930s and provided them with housing in Quito.

Chávez Molineros, Luis Fernando (1909-?). The son of Luis Felipe Chávez who helped organize the 1931 Primer Congreso de Organizaciones Campesinos in Cayambe. Often called Luis F. Chávez (hijo).

Daquilema, Fernando (1845?-1872). Leader of a 1871 revolt at Chimborazo.

Delgado, José Rafael. Renter of the Pesillo hacienda from 1921 until the government resumed direct administration in 1945.

Egas, Augusto. Director of the Junta Central de Asistencia Pública in the 1930s.

Escobar, Manuel. Leader of cooperatives at Pesillo in the 1960s and elected president of the FEI in 1972.

Gómez de la Torre, Luisa María (1887-1976). Militant in the PCE, AFE, and the FEI. A teacher who helped found Indian bilingual schools in Cayambe in the 1940s.

Gualavisí, Jesús (1867-1962). Gualavisí was born on the Changalá hacienda in the parroquia of Juan Montalvo, where in 1926 he organized the first peasant syndicate in Cayambe. He was the only Indian representative at the founding of the Ecuadorian Socialist Party in 1926, and later was actively involved in communist politics. He helped found the FEI and served as its first president.

Gualle Bonilla, Estuardo. Secretary General for the FEI in the 1970s and 1980s.

Jaramillo, Juan Genaro (1895-1958). Socialist lawyer from the 1920s and 1930s who helped early Indigenous activists in Cayambe.

Jarrín Espinosa, Aquiles. A civic leader in Cayambe and renter of the Pesillo hacienda from 1913-1921.

Lasso, Ambrasio (1905-1970). Leader of an uprising on the Pull hacienda in Chimborazo in 1935. Subsequently served as the leader of the Peasant Syndicate of Galte and led a successful 1968 strike that won salaries and access to land.

Lechón, Miguel (1922-?). Indigenous leader from Cayambe and president of the FEI from 1961-1971. He was also a member of the PCE, and traveled to Cuba in 1962 for the third anniversary of the revolution. He administered the Rumiñahui Cooperative on the Moyurco hacienda after agrarian reform in the 1960s.

Lechón, Virgilio (1904-1985). Indigenous leader who was repeatedly imprisoned for his political actions. He had a huasipungo in Chaupi on the Pesillo hacienda, but was evicted for leading a strike in 1931. After living in Yanahuaico and Cariacu, he later acquired another huasipungo in Moyurco.

Macas, Luis (1950- ) Saraguro Indian from southern Ecuador who served as president of CONAIE and deputy to the National Assembly in the 1990s.

Maldonado, Luis. Socialist leader who supported Indian movements in the 1920s and 1930s. He later served as Secretary General for the PSE and as a delegate to the National Assembly.

Martínez, Nela (1912-2004). A writer and member of the PCE since 1934, Martínez edited the Ñucanchic Allpa newspaper for the FEI, founded the AFE, and led the 1944 May Revolution. She worked closely with Dolores Cacuango and Luisa Gómez de la Torre in Indian struggles and bilingual education programs.

Muñoz, Leonardo J. (1898-1988). A founder of the socialist party and bookstore owner in Quito.

Narváez Duque, Colón. Member of the CTE executive committee, advisor to the FEI in the 1960s, and representative to the agrarian reform agency IERAC.

Pacheco León, Neptalí. Coastal peasant leader.

Páez, Julio Miguel. Renter of the Moyurco and San Pablourco haciendas from 1921 to 1945 and an ally with José Rafael Delgado against Indian organizations.

Paredes, Angel Modesto. Lawyer, professor, author, and politician. A founder of the Socialist Party and brother of Ricardo Paredes.

Paredes, Ricardo (1898-1979). Medical doctor and journalist from Riobamba. Paredes founded the Ecuadorian Socialist Party in 1926. He was a delegate to the Sixth Congress of the Communist International in the Soviet Union in 1928. In 1931 he converted the PSE into the Ecuadorian Communist Party. He served as its secretary general for more than twenty years, and edited the newspapers La Antorcha, El Pueblo, and others. He was a presidential candidate for the Communist Party several times and served in the 1944-1945 National Assembly as the Functional Representative for the Indigenous Race. He maintained personal contacts with Indian leaders in the canton of Cayambe and helped found the FEI in 1944.

Perugachi, Juan José (1900-?). Founder of the town of Olmedo where he was the Teniente Político and Secretary of the Tenencia Política.

Rivera, Modesto. Member of the PCE since the early 1930s, becoming Secretary General of the FEI in 1948 and Secretary of Peasant and Indian Organizations for the CTE in the 1950s. Close collaborator with Dolores Cacuango in defending Indigenous rights.

Rivadeneyra Altamirano, Jorge. 1960s guerrilla leader who supported Indigenous movements at Pesillo and elsewhere.

Rodríguez, Carlos. Urban communist supporter of the FEI in the 1960s.

Rodríguez Mera, Rubén (1904-1973). A teacher and a local white communist leader in Cayambe. Rodríguez was a member and president of Cayambe's municipal council. He also ran unsuccessfully several times for the position of deputy in the national congress. He was a strong supporter of Indigenous rights and helped found the FEI. Like other leaders, he was imprisoned for his political activism.

Saad, Pedro Antonio (1909-1982). Lawyer from Guayaquil. Founder of the CTE, Secretary General of the PCE, and functional representative for coastal workers in the National Assembly in the 1950s.

Saez, Alejo (1866-1909). An Indigenous leader born in Licto, Chimborazo. In 1884, he led a rebellion against diezmos and in 1895 he joined Eloy Alfaro's liberal revolution. In reward for his support of the revolution, Alfaro named him to the rank of General.

Ulcuango, Neptalí (1921- ). Indigenous leader and educator who founded an Indian school on the Pesillo hacienda in 1945. He was the secretary for the teniente político in Olmedo under the Velasco Ibarra administration in 1948 and again in 1952-1954.

Vega, Agustín. Leader of the Tigua cooperative in Cotopaxi in the 1940s, and a founder of the FEI.

Velasco Ibarra, José María (1893-1979). Perennial populist president who managed to complete only the three of five terms in office (1934-1935, 1944-1947, 1952-1956, 1960-1961, 1968-1972).

| Marc Becker's Home Page | |