The Black-Hooded Justice of the Fujimori Dictatorship
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
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.