El Tungsteno (Tungsten) is a novel by César Vallejo with a marked social pretension. The plot takes place in the first decades of the twentieth century. The American company Mining Society, owner of the tungsten mines of Quivilca, decides to extract the ore, before the imminent entry of the United States in the First World War. For this reason Indian laborers and employees of Colca (capital of Quivilca) are hired. These and the managers of the company settle in a place near the cabins of the Soras, an indigenous community that had always lived apart.
In the Marino brothers’ bazaar, the mine management group meets frequently, including the administrators, Mr. Taik and Mr. Weiss. In one of those sessions, José Marino gives his lover Graciela (“La Rosada”) to the commissioner Baldazari to be “looked after” during his trip, in a dark exchange of favors. The meeting ends with the rape and death of the girl, in the middle of an orgy of alcohol and abuse.
Faced with the escape of workers from the mine, the Marino brothers ask the Subprefect Luna to send policemen to enforce the contracts. Two young Indians, Isidoro Yepez and Braulio Conchucos, are captured and dragged to Colca to appear before the Military Conscription Board. Due to the mistreatment suffered, Braulio died in the presence of all. A blacksmith, Servando Huanca, protests in public against the injustice and provokes a repressed uprising by the gendarmes, with dead and wounded. Several Indians are imprisoned, accused of subversion; and the Marinos request the subprefect to choose some of them to work in the mines.
The story ends with the political reflections between Servando Huanca, the mine pointer and the surveyor Leonidas Benites. While the blacksmith Huanca speaks to them of the world revolutionary movement in which all the exploiters will be defeated and the workers will be liberated.
(Description has been translated into English, book edition is in Spanish)