Zárate Willka, Pablo (?–1903)

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Zárate Willka, Pablo (?–1903)

Pablo Zárate Willka (d. 1903), an Aymara Indian from the Bolivian Altiplano who led an Indian uprising that grew out of the Bolivian Civil War (1899). Willka is an archaic Aymara word, meaning "greatness" or "eminence," that had previously been used by Indian protest leaders, including Luciano Willka in 1870–1871. We now know that the more important Willka of 1899 was Pablo Zárate, born on an unknown date in Imillaimilla, between Sicasica, La Paz, and Eucaliptus, Oruro.

Zárate, assuming the name Willka, originally joined the federalist cause led by José Manuel Pando, later president of Bolivia, whose main preoccupation was to move the capital from Sucre to La Paz. But Zárate Willka and his Indian contingents soon demanded social changes, including the return of Indian communal lands lost several decades earlier. The uprising turned violent and became extensive. After Zárate Willka's capture in April 1899, the revolt collapsed. He died either while escaping from jail or being transported to another location. However, other versions of his death have some currency.

See alsoPando, José Manuel .


Ramiro Condarco Morales, Zarate, El "Temible" Willka, 2d enl. ed. (1983), includes lengthy bibliography, pp. 493-504.

Additional Bibliography

Antezana Salvatierra, Alejandro Vladimir. Los liberales y el problema agrario de Bolivia, 1899–1920. La Paz, Bolivia: Plural Editores: Centro de Información para el Desarrollo, 1996.

                                   Charles W. Arnade