Belaúnde, Víctor Andrés (1883–1966)

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Belaúnde, Víctor Andrés (1883–1966)

Víctor Andrés Belaúnde (b. 15 December 1883; d. 14 December 1966), Peruvian intellectual, educator, publisher, and diplomat. Born in Arequipa and educated as a lawyer at the universities of Arequipa and San Marcos in Lima, Belaúnde taught history at San Marcos and the Catholic University. In addition to his academic activities, he headed the Boundaries Section of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs during the crucial period of international disputes with Ecuador, Colombia, and Chile between 1907 and 1911. His main intellectual contributions address the issues of Peruvian nationality and its role in solving national problems. Belaúnde was initially influenced by positivism before embracing French idealist and Catholic philosophies. He believed in the need to integrate Peruvians of disparate historical backgrounds within a Peruvian national ideal. He named this ideal peruanidad ("Peruvianness"). Peruvian social problems should not lead to revolutionary changes, as proposed by José Carlos Máriategui and Víctor Raúl Haya de la Torre, but to social and cultural conciliation. Only through a strong feeling of national unity and a deep understanding of the genuine contributions of Peruvian history would Peru be able to form part of the community of modern nations.

Belaúnde publicized Peruvian cultural contributions as the editor of a new and third version of the landmark Mercurio Peruano, first published in 1791–1795. The new Mercurio Peruano, which appeared with brief interruptions between 1918 and 1978, published articles on a wide variety of national and international subjects. It became the longest-lasting cultural journal in Peru.

Exiled for his political opposition to President Augusto Leguía (1919–1930), Belaúnde taught in several U.S. universities, including Columbia, Virginia, Miami, and Chicago. On his return to Peru in the early 1930s, he helped successfully mediate the border dispute between Colombia and Peru. As president of the Catholic University and minister of foreign affairs in 1957, he achieved national stature as an intellectual eminence. In his later years Belaúnde held a high diplomatic post at the United Nations in New York City, where he died.

See alsoMercurio Peruano .


See his La realidad nacional (1931), Peruanidad (1957), and Meditaciones peruanas (1963).

Frederick Pike, The Modern History of Peru (1967).

Additional Bibliography

Gonzales, Osmar. Sanchos fracasados: Los arielistas y el pensamiento politico peruano. Lima: Ediciones PREAL, 1996.

Santiváñez Vivanco, Martín. El concepto de peruanidad en Victór Andrés Belaunde ante el nuevo milenio. Lima: Universidad de Lima, Fondo de Desarrollo Editorial, 2003.

                                        Alfonso W. Quiroz

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Belaúnde, Víctor Andrés (1883–1966)

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