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Lucia Luna-Victoria Indacochea


  • Ph.D. University of California, Davis. Latin American History, Human Rights Designated Emphasis, exp. 2022
  • M.A. University of California, Davis. Latin American History, 2019
  • B.A. Swarthmore College. History and Latin American Studies, 2015


Lucía is a PhD Candidate at the University of California Davis. She was born in Lima during the internal armed conflict and immigrated to the United States with her family in 2001. Since starting her studies, she has specialized in Latin American history and human rights, particularly 20th-century Peru. Her bachelor’s thesis  and master’s thesis, both focused on the period of the internal armed conflict in Peru. Her doctoral thesis, titled “Urban Battleground: Survival in Lima's Shantytowns during the Peruvian Armed Conflict,” centers on the urban stage of the conflict and utilizes oral history interviews with shantytown leaders and urban officials to examine the role of the urban poor in the culmination of the conflict. Lucía currently teaches courses on Latin American history and human rights at UC Davis. 


Research Focus

Urban Battleground: Survival in Lima's Shantytowns during the Peruvian Armed Conflict

My work examines how shantytowns became a focal point of collective struggles for survival and basic human dignity in Lima during the Peruvian armed conflict (1980-2000). Conventionally perceived as either bastions of grassroots resistance or cradles of insurgency, shantytowns actually influenced the subversive and the Peruvian state’s strategies in the capital, ultimately determining the outcome of the conflict. Beyond their role as victims or insurgents, shantytown residents challenged, subverted, and reshaped both insurrectionary and state politics, making conscious decisions to organize for or against their demands. Through ethnographic fieldwork and archival research, I trace shantytown mass mobilizations, as well as the creation of state-sponsored self-defense militias.


Associate Instructor

Human Rights in Latin America: Spring 2021, Summer 2020

Course Flyer

Teaching Assistant

  • Latin American History 1900 to Present
  • Latin American History Pre-Columbian to 1700
  • Women and Gender in Latin American History
  • Food History
  • Introduction to History
  • History of the Holocaust                                                                                                                                 


  • ACLS/Mellon Dissertation Completion Fellowship, 2021-2022
  • Russell J. and Dorothy S. Bilinksi Educational Foundation Dissertation Writing Fellowship (Declined), 2021-2022
  • UC Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation (IGCC) Dissertation Fellowship, 2019-2020
  • James R. Scobie Award, Conference for Latin American History, Summer 2018
  • Graduate Student of Color Summer Research Award, Summer 2017
  • Hemispheric Institute on the Americas Tinker Award, Summer 2017