Glory to the Communist Heroes of Canto Grande!
by the Committee of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement
on the Murder of Our Comrades in Peru's Prisons
increasingly good news of the advances in the revolutionary war
in Peru has come word of a desperate, cowardly, towering crime.
Battered by the rising revolutionary tide, Peru's Fujimori government
has been raging for revenge. But the flunkies who rule Peru backed
by the U.S.'s rulers have been unable to inflict military defeat
on the revolutionary armed forces led by the Communist Party of
Peru and its Chairman Gonzalo. So instead they sought to show
their strength by attacking where they thought they could win
most easily - the prisons where they hold captured revolutionaries.
A great many of our revolutionary comrades have been murdered.
But through these comrades' heroic, self-sacrificing resistance,
the enemy has been robbed of any triumph.
revolutionary prisoners of war were held apart from other prisoners
in Canto Grande. There, in a modern concrete dungeon where the
prisoners are thrown to starve to death or die of disease, these
revolutionaries made the two buildings where they were kept into
a "shining trench of combat". They lived collectively,
continuing to contribute to the revolution through art, handicrafts
and so on and preparing themselves politically, ideologically
and physically to make the greatest possible future contribution
in or out of prison. Since last September, the two prison buildings
holding the revolutionary men and women have been under siege
by the Armed Forces. The prisoners warned, in declarations smuggled
out to the world, that the government was planning to slaughter
them, under cover of "regaining control of the prison"
and "transferring" the revolutionaries to other jails.
Fujimori, who took the government completely into his own hands
through an Army coup in April, badly needed some sign of success
to show his foreign and domestic backers and dispell the growing
shadow of doom hovering above his regime.
heavily armed soldiers and elite police surrounded the women's
pavilion on Wednesday May 6th, hoping to first subjugate the women
and then later the men. But they could not. The prison they had
built was turned against them. Women standing on the tops of thick
cement walls and on high rooftops amidst gunfire and explosions,
scarcely visible amidst the smoke and tear gas clouds, threw down
whatever was at hand at their assailants. They fought wearing
home-made gas masks and using whatever they could until they beat
back the assault waves, killing at least two police. Then the
women gained the building where the men prisoners of war were
held, and together they fought off the police until the night
of Saturday May 9th. Finally, after an eight-hour pitched battle
in which the reactionaries deployed all the heavy weaponry imaginable,
the revolutionaries were overpowered.
We do not
know how many of our comrades died in this unequal battle and
how many were coldly executed after the prison was retaken. In
the following days the repeatedly-revised and ever-rising government
list of the officially dead constantly has lagged far behind the
number of bodies foreign reporters have counted arriving in the
Lima morgue. There is every reason to believe that after the
battle was over the real killing began.
At noon on
Sunday May 10, Fujimori personally was brought into the prison
courtyard to conduct an obscene victory ceremony. Behind him could
be seen prisoners, kept face down on the ground with their hands
behind their necks. Whips and clubs cracked out and unleashed
dogs were set on them. But still the prisoners could be heard
chanting and singing.
won glory for the revolution in Peru and the world revolution.
With their willingness to give their lives for the Party and the
revolution, they brought to light - with their actions - at the
very moment when the enemy was most determined to show his merciless
strength - the strategic weakness of that enemy, and the indomitable
strength of our Maoist ideology.
imperialists and their various lackeys have been committing horrendous
crimes again and again all over the world, but the situation in
Peru is different. The Peruvian masses are standing up to them
through people's war. The reactionary army faces not helpless
victims but a revolutionary army. In a large and growing part
of the countryside, the masses have established their own political
power, and having achieved strategic equilibrium with the enemy
they are preparing to seize power throughout the country. Above
all, they have the leadership of the Communist Party of Peru and
the ideology of Marx, Lenin and Mao, the ideology that enabled
our comrade prisoners to fight until the end, armed at first with
very little and finally nothing but their voices, and still inflict
a devastating blow on the enemy. Whatever weapons the people lack
they will snatch from the enemy and what strength they may lack
they will build up until they sweep the vicious and putrid imperialist-dominated
system out of Peru as part of sweeping imperialism and reaction
off the face of the globe, and together with the rest of the oppressed
of this world build an entirely new world free of classes and
all oppression, the world of communism.
This is far
from the first terrible slaughter suffered in Peru's people's
war. The reactionaries have killed tens of thousands of people
in mass, indiscriminate terror campaigns against the villages.
Nor is it the first mass slaughter of prisoners of war in this
war: that U.S.-owned politician Alan García, now trying to erect
himself as a "democratic" alternative to Fujimori, himself
had three hundred revolutionary prisoners of war killed on June
19th, 1986. We remember that day as the "Day of Heroism"
in honour of those prisoners. Now once again the heroism and sacrifice
of our imprisoned comrades has set an example and given heart
to the people the reactionaries had meant to terrorize and dishearten,
the people of Peru and people all over the world.
As the days
of the reactionary system in Peru draw to an end, the foreign
imperialists and their local lackeys who have so long fattened
off the Peruvian masses are lashing out ever more frantically.
This is how it is with revolution: the reactionaries try to turn
back its advances through slaughter, while each new crime only
further exposes their nature and the basis of their system and
spurs on the revolution against them, until finally they are overthrown
by the armed revolutionary masses.
in Peru, may not be far off. Let our grief and anger spur us on,
to step up support everywhere for the People's War in Peru, to
bring about that day as soon as possible in that country and hasten
the dawn all over the world.