A WORLD TO WIN    #18   (1992)


The Black-Hooded Justice of the Fujimori Dictatorship

Statement by the International Emergency Committee to Defend the Life of Dr Abimael Guzmán on the October 7th Verdict

The "trial" and verdict of Dr Abimael Guzmán represents the trampling of internationally established treaties and conventions governing the treatment of political prisoners. The "trial" took place at break-neck speed, without the opportunity to call witnesses or present a defence. Dr Guzmán was denied the right to consult his attorney, Dr Alfredo Crespo. All press and observers were banned and an international delegation of attorneys refused admittance. The faces of the judges and prosecutors were hidden behind black hoods. The "trial" and verdict are and must be considered null and void!

From the day of the arrest of Dr Guzmán on September 12th, the Fujimori dictatorship has had only one concern: to permanently silence the leader of the twelve-year insurgency as quickly as possible. Initially Fujimori had threatened to impose the death penalty on Dr Guzmán, though it is banned by the Peruvian Constitution. In the face of widespread opposition in Peru and worldwide, Fujimori has abandoned ideas on an official execution, but there is still every reason to fear an extra-legal execution under the cover of "escape attempt", "suicide", or "death by natural causes". Details of these sordid plans have already appeared in the world press (see the Economist, 19 September).

The notorious record of the Peruvian regime for murdering political prisoners is well known and well documented, from the massacre of hundreds of prisoners at El Fronton prison in 1986 to the cold-blooded murder of more than forty women and men, unarmed prisoners at the Canto Grande prison, as recently as May of this year. International public opinion must help stop the hand of the Peruvian regime from adding Dr Guzmán to their endless list of murdered political prisoners.

The Western powers and the world media they dominate have played a despicable role in aiding and covering over the Fujimori regime. First Dr Guzmán was portrayed all over the world as a dangerous "terrorist" and the "most dangerous man on earth", while the kangaroo "trial" was organised and every established legal principle was trampled, the "guardians of democracy" remained deafeningly silent.

Despite this worldwide orchestra of lies and hysteria, in the past three weeks a movement has developed around the world with remarkable speed against the threats to Dr Guzmán's life. It has brought together a broad array of jurists, defenders of human rights, political activists, journalists, and many tens of thousands of ordinary people in countries on every continent. One international delegation has already been in Lima to express the worldwide opposition to this railroad and a second is now assembling there. This movement is expanding daily, and will continue to do so as long as the life, health, humane treatment and that Dr Guzmán are not guaranteed. This movement hold that Dr Guzmán must benefit from the broad international support from which imprisoned opponents of imperialism and reactionary regimes have always benefitted.