Statement by the Prisoners of Canto Grande
Live this Great Milestone of Mass Heroism!
following statement, "Long Live the Milestone of Mass Heroism
Achieved by the Joint Struggle of the Prisoners of War May 6th-7th-8th-9th",
was issued May 14th. It carries the signature of the surviving
men prisoners of war still held in Lima's Canto Grande prison.
does not drown the revolution but irrigates it.
To the Peruvian proletariat and people, to the international proletariat
and the peoples of the world: we prisoners of war in the shining
trench of combat 4-B (men's cellblock) in the Canto Grande fascist
concentration camp, with deep class hatred, denounce the evil,
monstrous and despicable genocide perpetrated on May 6th to 9th.
The reactionary government of the genocidal national traitor Fujimori
and his genocidal armed forces and police attacked the 131 women
prisoners of war in cellblock 1-A and 403 men prisoners of war
in cellblock 4-B. They murdered more than forty and wounded almost
a hundred people.
The genocidal national traitor Fujimori had been scheming and
plotting for months, following the orders of his master, Yankee
imperialism. They hatched a reactionary propaganda campaign against
us. They claimed that we had weapons and tunnels and that we had
to be made to respect their "principle of authority".
In an attempt to create public opinion for a massacre, a new genocide,
Fujimori issued clearly fascist rules and laws and had the army
take over the prison. We prisoners of war denounced and vigourously
exposed this campaign. These heroic acts by the prisoners, along
with our families and lawyers, held back Fujimori's murderous
hand. We forced them to sign an agreement, and to carry out an
inspection of our cellblocks in the presence of representatives
of the International Red Cross, government authorities and the
genocidal prison director Colonel Cajahuanca and over twenty of
his senior and junior officers on April 13th-14th. This showed
that our position and demands were completely just and derailed
the reactionary campaign against us. These facts were reaffirmed
at the end of April by the inspection carried out by representatives
of the International Human Rights Commission of the Organization
of American States. We had invited them to visit our cellblocks
and the surrounding areas, and submitted a document demanding
that we be recognized as prisoners of war and denouncing the genocidal
plan the genocidal national traitor Fujimori was already cooking
In a clear violation of the agreements they themselves had signed,
on May 6th, 1992, at 4:30 in the morning over 500 genocidal troops
of the "elite" corps of the Armed Forces and police
attacked cellblock 1-A with all kinds of weapons - rifles, rocket-propelled
grenades, hand grenades, dynamite satchels and plastic explosives,
along with rockets launched from a helicopter gunship. They sought
to destroy the cellblock and exterminate all 131 women prisoners
of war, as well as the 24 men prisoners who, due to overcrowding
in 4-B, were housed in the first room on the first floor of 1-A
with the full knowledge and authorization of the genocidal prison
director Colonel Cajahuanca. The brutal attack lasted 22 hours.
Although they demolished part of the building, their efforts met
with complete failure. This exposed the real character of what
they claimed was simply an attempt to move the women prisoners
of war to the Santa Monica prison - a clumsy excuse which they
didn't even bother to tell us about until long afterwards, let
alone notify us ahead of time. This pretext was used by a prison
official named Mirta Campos to justify and vindicate the genocide.
Blinded by genocidal fury and humiliated by the defeat they suffered
on May 6th, when the women prisoners of war moved to cellblock
4-B, Fujimori mobilized over a thousand army troops and special
police assault forces. No order was too evil for this little low-life
dog to issue. They used bazookas, a large artillery piece and
two smaller cannons, hundreds of explosive charges and thousands
of bullets and grenades, sniper rifles, a tank, helicopters and
hundreds of armoured personnel carriers in their "final assault"
against cellblock 4-B. This is how they hoped to reassert their
"principle of authority" - with gunfire and bloodshed.
All day long on the 7th and intensifying on the 8th and 9th, they
demolished the cellblock floor by floor, using artillery, gunfire
from a safe distance and machine guns positioned on the rooftops
and in the windows of the other buildings.
They categorically rejected our first demand, the establishment
of a commission, to include representatives of the International
Red Cross, the OAS Human Rights Commission and our relatives and
lawyers, which would oversee the transfer of the women prisoners
of war from 1-A, as well as guarantee the lives of the men prisoners
of war and ensure the immediate withdrawal of the wounded. We
also agreed that if these guarantees were met they could inspect
cellblock 4-B before the transfer.
They also totally rejected our second demand, that representatives
of the International Red Cross at least be present. They cynically
violated the agreement signed at 6 pm May 8th by our delegates,
Mirta Campos and police commanders. As our delegates were returning
- they had left at 2:30 pm and won a promise to request the presence
of the International Red Cross - they were seized and beaten.
A group of 31 sick and seriously wounded prisoners (men and women)
who left cellblock 4-B at 6:30 pm got barely ten meters before
they were stopped. A third group of ten prisoners of war were
seized and thrown in with the wounded as hostages. The authorities
doused them with kerosene, held back the common prisoners who
tried to come to their aid and threatened to shoot them immediately
if the other prisoners did not surrender. This boundless cruelty
towards the wounded reveals that they were following a premeditated
plan to exterminate us. Their hypocritical promises to "respect"
our lives, broadcast over loudspeakers, were accompanied by ever
more deadly explosive charges and barrages of rifle fire against
cellblock 4-B. But their vicious efforts to capture the cellblock
and impose a so-called "surrender" failed completely
again and again, until the end, in the face of our unbreakable,
heroic and growing resistance.
At 6 pm on Saturday May 9th the women and men prisoners of war
summed up that we had fully accomplished the aims of our heroic
resistance. We shouted that we were going to come out, and we
marched out, arms linked, singing The Internationale. The cowardly,
genocidal beasts singled out certain prisoners of war leaving
the cellblock and shot them. Among these people's heroes who fell
heroically in the prison rotunda, defending the morale of the
class amidst machine-gun fire, were Hugo Juárez Cruzat, Yovanka
Pardavé, Tito Valle Travesaño and Elvia Zanabria Pachecho. Janet
Talavera fell near cellblock 1-A. Other prisoners were shot near
cellblock 7-B and even near the door leading out of the garrison.
The bloodthirsty beasts ran around frantically with a list of
names, trying to identify suspected leaders or commanders. They
tortured and murdered the people's heroes Noemi Romero Mejía,
Andrés Agüero Garmendi, Rubén Constantino Chihuán, Julia Marlene
Olivos Peña, Wilfredo Gutiérrez Véliz and others. Some, like Marcos
Wilfredo Azaña, were seen alive on Sunday the 10th. They were
held, tortured and finally murdered.
With their heroism, fighting spirit and courage, these men and
women prisoners of war carried our vow of heroic resistance through
to the end. They achieved a great milestone of mass heroism in
the joint struggle and achieved a new and higher moral, military
and political victory for Chairman Gonzalo, the Party and the
revolution, a concrete expression of the strategic equilibrium
increasingly shaking the country and of the advancing people's
war led by the Communist Party of Peru and brilliantly headed
by Chairman Gonzalo. Today, in its twelfth year, the people's
war is advancing irresistibly and coming ever closer to the achievement
of our immediate goal: the seizure of political power nationwide,
on the road to communism. These prisoners dealt a powerful moral,
military and political blow to genocidal national traitor Fujimori's
reactionary government and his genocidal Armed Forces and police.
Following the example of our beloved and always-remembered Comrade
Norah and the heroes of our people, we prisoners of war in this
shining trench of combat reaffirm our unshakable determination
to continue our heroic resistance under new conditions and our
resolute vow to offer our lives, today, tomorrow and forever,
to Chairman Gonzalo, the Party, the revolution and communism.
Our Chairman Gonzalo has trained and steeled us more than ever
to defy death and snatch from it the laurels of victory, to carry
our lives on our fingertips. We are willing to offer our lives
whenever the revolution may need them. With deep class feeling,
we surviving prisoners of war repeat the vow all of us took May
8th, 1992: "For our Chairman Gonzalo, for Marxism-Leninism-Maoism,
Gonzalo Thought, for the Party, the class, our people and the
international proletariat and the peoples of the world... we will
wage heroic resistance and defeat this genocidal extermination.
We will not fail you. We will shoulder our responsibility to history.
Our allegiance is to Chairman Gonzalo, the Party and the revolution
and nothing and nobody can stop us. Victory is ours. It is inevitable
because we have the leadership of our Chairman Gonzalo and we
are armed with invincible Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, Gonzalo Thought.
Our victory is inevitable, and the only choice that faces us is
to struggle or to die, blood-soaked struggle or nothing."
Live Chairman Gonzalo!
Live Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, Gonzalo Thought!
Live the Communist Party of Peru!
Live the Twelfth Anniversary of the Victoriously Advancing People's
Live Strategic Equilibrium!
Strategic Equilibrium Shake the Country Even More!
Live This Great Milestone of Mass Heroism Achieved by the Joint
Struggle of the Prisoners of War May 6-9th!
to the Fallen Heroes, Long Live the Revolution!
People Alone Will Judge and Punish the Genocidal Murderers!
Decision: Heroic Resistance!
Vow: To Give Our Lives for the Party and the Revolution!