Cornejo, Mariano

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Cornejo, Mariano

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  • Cornejo Zenteno, Mariano Hilario

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Mariano Cornejo was born in Arequipa, Peru, in 1867. He studied law and political science at the National University of San Marcos in Lima. In 1896 he defended his doctoral thesis in political science. He practiced for several years as a lawyer. In 1896 he set up a chair of sociology at the National University of San Marcos. In 1897 he was elected as a democratic deputy and in 1901 he became President of the Chamber of Deputies. In 1905, Cornejo was made a plenipotentiary minister in Spain in order to defend Peruvian interests in the question of its borders with Ecuador. When the diplomatic negotiations failed, he returned to Lima where he again worked as a professor of sociology at San Marcos (1911). The following year, he was elected a Senator and occupied this function until 1918. He supported the coup d’etat of 4 July 1919 which brought Augusti B. Leguia the presidency of Peru, and Cornejoy was given a ministerial post. He also presided over the constituent national assembly that same year, which spread the constitutional text edited by Cornejo, and he established a new code of procedural criminal law.

In 1920, Cornejo was made a plenipotentiary minister in France and a permanent delegate at the League of Nations (LN). In November 1928 he became a Peruvian delegate at the IIIC. He advocated an internationalist vision of the Organisation of Intellectual Cooperation, claiming that “one had to liberate culture from excessive nationalism” (Luchaire, 1965). He therefore opposed the creation of an American Institute of Intellectual Cooperation in 1929, the Pan-American Institute, which he feared could result in a North American bias. Whilst in France, he was made a Grand Officer of the Legion of Honour and was elected to the Academy of Moral and Political Sciences in February 1929. Between 1929 and 1930, Cornejo was also a member of the ICIC. He presided over the fourth International Congress of Sociology in 1930. In December 1930, the Peruvian author Ventura Garcia Calderón (1886–1959) replaced him as delegate at the IIIC. The following year Cornejo left his post at the ICIC to the Colombian writer Baldomero Sanín Cano. Cornejo died in Paris in 1942.


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International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation

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Mariano Cornejo was a member of the ICIC.

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Created by Marie Caillot 02/11/2011. English translation by Jan Stöckmann 11-08-2015.




  • UNESCO Archives, Archival Group 1: boîte 5. IICI. A. I. 32. Relations avec le gouvernement du Pérou. Plusieurs lettres et une notice autobiographique de 4 pages (rédigée à la demande de l'IICI) de 1929.
  • "Mariano Cornejo Zenteno". Article Wikipédia. Retrieved from: Accessed 2nd November 2011.
  • Luchaire, J. (1965). Confessions d'un Français moyen, t. 2. Florence : Olschki. P. 165.
  • Martin, P. A. (1940). Who's who in Latin America: a Biographical Dictionary of the Outstanding Living Men and Women of Spanish America and Brazil. Stanford University Press. P. 1939.
  • Renoliet, J.-J. (1999). L'UNESCO oubliée. La Société des Nations et la coopération intellectuelle (1919-1946). Paris : Publications de la Sorbonne. P. 184, 253, 254.
  • date note: birthdate varies according to source, authoritative birthdate taken from VIAF, variant birthdates given: 1870-1942, 1866-1942

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