No. 2, April-May 1997
Statement of the Internationalist Group
Down with the Executioner Fujimori!
Demand Freedom for All Leftist Prisoners in Peru's Dungeons
Fujimori asesino! Fujimori is a murderer! Throughout the world, the workers movement and enemies of oppression must protest in outrage against the premeditated mass murder of leftist guerrillas carried out in Lima yesterday by Peru's dictator Alberto Fujimori. Backed by the White House and advised by the Pentagon, the assassin Fujimori sent in a 150-man extermination squad of the Peruvian Army to carry out an act of state terrorism. This was the meaning of the April 22 army storming of the Japanese ambassador's residence and the killing of all the members of the Movimiento Revolucionario Tupac Amaru (MRTA) who had occupied it since last December. The military assault was intended to send a message of terror against the working people and all those, throughout Latin America, who seek to struggle against the starvation and repression dictated by the imperialist bankers' International Monetary Fund and enforced by the region's capitalist governments.
Celebrating the murder of every one of the 14 guerrillas--who were surprised while playing soccer--Fujimori staged a fascistic death rally at the site of the attack. The rhythmic chants from the mob of professional killers surrounding him sounded strikingly like "Sieg Heil!" The Peruvian bourgeoisie and its army are covered with the blood of thousands of peasants and workers. It has carried out one massacre after another against leftists and entire villages, while conditions in its prisons are subhuman. When jailed supporters of the Maoist Peruvian Communist Party-Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path) rebelled in one prison hellhole, government troops went in and killed more than 400 of them. For all the imperialists' talk of democracy and human rights, their man Fujimori solidified his rule with a "self-coup" that dispersed the elected congress in 1990, and has been nothing but a veneer for military rule ever since.
This massacre was also "made in U.S.A." News reports indicate that the U.S. supplied equipment for remote monitoring of conversations inside the residence, and this is certainly only the tip of the iceberg. The Israeli government, meanwhile, reportedly provided technical support in preparation for yesterday's army attack.Washington has been pushing for a hard line against the guerrillas because it wants to embolden capitalist rulers elsewhere in Latin America to crush opposition to the imperialist-sponsored austerity and repression.
The MRTA militants had occupied the residence during a party last December attended by the Peruvian elite, which revels in grinding the country's mainly Indian working people into the dirt. Representatives of U.S. and Japanese imperialism, as well as of the region's neocolonial governments, were in attendance as well. The dramatic MRTA action was a desperate attempt to win freedom for hundreds of Tupac Amaru members buried alive in the regime's dungeons and torture cells. Thousands of members of Sendero Luminoso are also imprisoned. We Trotskyists condemn the policies of Sendero Luminoso which has murdered many leftists and trade unionists. Its policies have more in common with Pol Pot than with Marx and Lenin. Nevertheless, class-conscious workers must demand immediate freedom for all leftist prisoners, including Sendero and MRTA members, from the class justice of the bourgeoisie.
Led by former textile union leader Cerpa, the MRTA guerrillas went out of their way to show consideration for their hostages. They even released some who were notorious Peruvian and U.S. secret police agents. They evidently believed that a demonstration of good will might be reciprocated by the Fujimori regime, which broke one pledge after another, talking of a peaceful solution while it was preparing for its murderous assault. While calling for armed struggle, the MRTA tragically overestimated their oppressors' humanity--always a fatal mistake for revolutionaries. For Peru's rulers and their imperialist masters, those who seek to fight oppression are not even human. Fujimori pointedly said he regretted the "loss of three human lives," those of a supreme court judge and two soldiers. The Tupac Amaru militants received the same fate as their namesake, who was treacherously murdered by the Spanish conquistadores.
Following severe setbacks in their guerrilla struggles, the MRTA was trying the follow the example of other Latin American guerrilla groups which, following the counterrevolutionary destruction of the Soviet Union, have negotiated a reentry into bourgeois politics as popular-frontist opposition parties on the basis of their reformist program. They disavowed any calls for socialism or even opposition to privatization. But the Peruvian bourgeoisie was not interested in a deal.
We salute the heroism and sacrifice of the MRTA fighters who gave their lives in the struggle to free their imprisoned comrades. At the same time, we must draw the lesson of this latest defeat of the guerrilla "strategy." Peasant-based guerrilla struggle is not the road to a revolution that liberates all the oppressed and opens the way to a socialist future of equality. The only road to liberation from class exploitation, national and racial oppression is through building a Leninist vanguard party of the proletariat, which draws behind it the masses of impoverished peasants and all the oppressed in a fight for workers revolution. This is the Trotskyist program of permanent revolution, for the defeat and expropriation of the bloodthirsty capitalist rulers and the extension of revolution to the heartland of Yankee imperialism.
Down with the executioner Fujimori! Immediate freedom for all leftist prisoners in Fujimori's dungeons!
For class-struggle mobilizations against the capitalist rulers and their imperialist masters on Wall Street, in the White House and the Pentagon! Workers of the world unite!
23 April 1997