The Campaign to Move Heaven and Earth to Defend the Life of Chairman
The Battle Continues!
of Chairman Gonzalo, Chairman of the Communist Party of Peru (PCP),
on 12 September 1992 gave rise to a fierce and resolute battle to
defend his life. Chairman Gonzalo's capture by the enemy was felt
as a bitter blow to revolutionaries in Peru and around the world.
In the 1960s and 1970s Chairman Gonzalo led the struggle to reconstitute
the PCP and lay the basis for the launching of a People's War. After
the initiation of the People's War in 1980, Chairman Gonzalo played
the central role in guiding and advancing the development of the
war, and became the recognized leader of millions of peasants, workers,
intellectuals and others in Peru. The revolution in Peru led by
Chairman Gonzalo has been a precious and fresh revolutionary wind
blowing away the stench of old revisionism and presenting a new
challenge to imperialism and reaction. When Chairman Gonzalo was
captured, for communist revolutionaries around the world defending
his life meant defending the right of the slave to rebel against
their slavemasters. It meant defending revolution and communism.
On 12 September
1992 the reactionaries celebrated what they thought was the virtual
defeat of the People's War. However, not only has the People's War
continued despite this blow, but the international campaign to defend
Chairman Gonzalo's life has reverberated around the globe and shone
an even sharper light on the features of the two sides locked in
mortal combat. This has inspired the masses and helped puncture
the imperialists' lie that it is impossible to challenge the New
World Order and that revolution and communism are dead.
the battle to defend Chairman Gonzalo's life has been spearheaded
by the world's proletarian revolutionary forces, who rallied around
the call of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement to "Move
Heaven and Earth to Defend the Life of Chairman Gonzalo". Hundreds
of thousands of people around the world have actively taken part
in this struggle in one way or another. One especially strong component
of this fight has been the campaign coordinated by the International
Emergency Committee to Defend the Life of Dr Abimael Guzman (Chairman
Gonzalo's given name). The IEC has united and mobilized people in
more than 40 countries who are outraged over the US-backed Fujimori
regime's murderous treatment of this revolutionary leader and the
other political prisoners, and recognize that a dangerous precedent
is being set for revolutionary leaders and other opponents of imperialism
and reaction around the world.
to defend Chairman Gonzalo has been a complex and fierce uphill
battle. On the one side, the US-Fujimori regime, backed by reactionaries
around the world, has done everything they could to humiliate, discredit,
torture, and even kill Chairman Gonzalo. On the other side an unprecedented
array of forces from every corner of the globe who hate imperialism
and its endless reactionary schemes to crush the hopes and dreams
of the poor and oppressed have stepped forward to defend his life.
Faced with the continuation of the People's War in Peru and this
unexpected international alliance to defend Chairman Gonzalo's life,
the reactionaries, despite all their might, have been unable to
attack Chairman Gonzalo with impunity. France's main newspaper,
Le Monde, stated that a secret plan to kill him was halted
at the last minute because of international public opinion. The
US-orchestrated campaign of lies and slanders designed to isolate
Chairman Gonzalo and the People's War in Peru has been punctured.
And all those who have witnessed this powerful realignment of the
revolutionary and progressive forces who have come to the defense
of Chairman Gonzalo and the People's War in Peru have been infused
with new hope for the future.
on Chairman Gonzalo have enraged people from very different political
trends and ideologies. Many do not understand or agree with the
need for a Maoist revolution. However, they do recognize that Chairman
Gonzalo is the cherished leader of millions of people in Peru. They
recognize the basic right of the people to take up arms against
a repressive regime and know that by attacking revolutionary leadership
the imperialists are trying to deny the people this precious right.
That such a broad array of people has joined together to defend
a communist leader has contributed to the fact that Chairman Gonzalo
is alive today and their resoluteness and tenacity has surprised
and angered the reactionaries. It has also changed the terrain for
revolutionaries. In the course of taking up the defense of Chairman
Gonzalo, great numbers of people have learned the truth about the
People's War in Peru for the first time. As a result, there is a
broad reservoir of international support for the People's War and
an emerging network of activists fighting to defend it. It has also
presented the Maoist forces with many new challenges to play their
independent role in both strengthening the worldwide campaign and
at the same time taking up more overall revolutionary communist
tasks in an increasingly receptive and enriched atmosphere.
Gonzalo was arrested, the regime boasted that it had decapitated
the People's War. For two years Fujimori and the international media
have trumpeted its defeat. At the same time the Peruvian regime
unleashed its entire arsenal of weaponry against the People's War
- new repressive laws, a psychological war aimed at creating divisions
and confusions, empty promises of future prosperity, all backed
up by the brutal might of the military which has waged constant
war on the people. But in spite of increasingly desperate and brutal
attacks, even the regime is forced to admit that they have been
unable to wipe out the People's War. Not only have there been continued
attacks on banks, newly privatized companies, and the electrical
system which have affected Lima and other cities, but the military
has suffered many losses in fierce fighting with PCP combatants
in the countryside. They complain of surrounding revolutionary fighters
in villages, only to have them escape through elaborate tunnel systems
into the jungles. They whine about being unable to land their helicopters
in the jungle without coming under fire. They justify massacres
of entire villages by saying that the combatants are being hidden
among the people, and that every person is a collaborator. The enemy's
frustration reflects that they will never be able to crush the deep
determination of the Peruvian people to stand up to their oppressors.
more needs to be done to protect the life of Chairman Gonzalo as
well as to support the People's War he has so powerfully led. Chairman
Gonzalo's life continues to be in danger. The US continues to intensify
its sophisticated strategy of low-intensity counter-revolutionary
warfare in their attempt to crush the People's War. Chairman Mao
said that as a protracted People's War advances, the reactionary
regime must be expected to unleash increasingly desperate and brutal
attacks against the revolutionary forces, and that the people must
be prepared to meet unexpected twists and turns, dangers and possibilities.
The upcoming April 1995 presidential elections may well be a focal
point of new manoeuvers, as the various reactionaries compete with
each other to try to prove to their Yankee masters that they are
the best choice to preside over the attacks on the People's War.
past two years the many forces who have taken up this fierce battle
to defend Chairman Gonzalo's life have resolutely met each new challenge
the reactionaries have thrown at them, and have become increasingly
steeled. They have become schooled in the enemy's unrelenting campaign
of disinformation. They have played a decisive role in mobilizing
people from all walks of life to defend Chairman Gonzalo, and a
strong and powerful front has been formed. People from many different
political trends and ideologies have marched in the streets, signed
petitions, written letters and decorated the walls of the cities
and the hills in the countryside. They have contributed money and
have engaged in fiery debates with people who have been swayed by
the lies of the enemy. IEC committees and groups made up of these
diverse forces have formed in dozens of countries. Moreoever, new
committees to support the People's War in Peru have been formed.
To many, the battle to defend the life of Chairman Gonzalo has become
integrally linked with supporting the People's War in Peru, and
this has opened up a whole new vision of what is possible. Some
of these fighters have stepped forward to become revolutionary communists.
to defend Dr Guzman's life continues to be an uphill battle. Even
though the Fujimori regime had previously announced that his isolation
would end after the legal limit of one year, they have ignored their
own laws and maintained the isolation for more than two years now.
No one can know exactly how the reactionary forces will next attack.
But one thing is certain. The revolutionary and progressive people
of the world are in a better position to meet each of the enemy's
challenges, and to win.
the Life of Chairman Gonzalo!
of Chairman Gonzalo, leader of the Party and the Revolution, is
part of a plan to carry out greater genocide against the people.
The reactionaries dream that this will allow them to annihilate
the Revolution. They do not realize that the more blood they shed
the closer they come to their extinction. We demand that the genocidal
Fujimori government respect his health and life.
Party of Peru will deal an exemplary punishment to all those who
dare to put their dirty hands on Chairman Gonzalo.
Chairman Gonzalo, Leader of the Party and the Revolution!
the Communist Party of Peru!
the People's War!
Give Our Lives for the Party and the Revolution!
Party of Peru,
Delhi, India. Meeting outside the Peruvian Embassy demanding the
release of Comrade Gonzalo.
One of many demonstrations in Kathmandu, Nepal, against the puppet
Postcard distributed in Tunisia reads: Freedom for Comrade Gonzalo
captured since 12 September 92 in the reactionaries' prisons. Inside
prison as outside Comrade Gonzalo remains a communist symbol inciting
us to make revolution.
"I am thankful
to IEC for providing me with the latest information about the case
of Dr Guzman. I think that after the Sacco-Vanzetti Defense Committee
(1920-1927), this is the next big movement that spread throughout
the globe. I received the statement... and got more than 50 signatures,
mostly from human rights activists and lawyers. "
Andhra Pradesh Civil Liberties Committee, India
Punjabis as well as people from other parts of India are brought
together by the Joint Committe for Comrade Gonzalo's Release
of our procession read "Our Solidarity with the Revolutionary People
of Peru is Indomitable". Copies of Dr Guzman's speech were distributed
along the route.... At the culmination of the procession an effigy
of Fujimori, with the badge "Man-Eater", which also symbolizes the
rulers of India, was burned and the head of the Fujimori' was beaten
Alyansan Makabayan (BAYAN) declares its wholehearted support for
the campaign to defend the life and rights of Dr Abimael Guzman,
and demands the release of all political prisoners in Peru... The
raging armed revolution in Peru can in no way be considered as terrorism,
as the Western mass media claims, but a liberation movement of the
people seeking profound social change....<"
1993, Manila, Philippines
(2 million members)
Peruvian working people are living under the yoke of the US-sponsored
Fujimori regime. On Oct 31, 1993 the US-backed Peruvian government
is holding a referendum under the farce of creating a new constitution,
but in effect to secure the approval of the people to reinstate
capital punishment. In opposition to their referendum, and as part
of the most urgent world-wide struggle to protect the life of Dr
Guzman, the great leader of the Peruvian working people, we, using
our power derived from production, have stopped work for one day
and devote one day's wages to the Campaign."
representative Ozcan Dogan, Ankara, Turkey,
Sitesi Factory (a radiator factory)
IEC delegates to Philippines and Japan with students after an IEC
forum in Manila University.
prisoners in Bucaramanga, Colombia... want to greet and show our
voice of militant solidarity; and at the same time we condemn the
government of the dictator Fujimori, for the cruel outrage against
Dr Abimael Guzman Reynoso, Chairman Gonzalo...."
of the International Campaign to Defend the Life of Dr Abimael Guzman:
of particular activities cannot begin to convey the totality of
what people around the world have done as part of the international
campaign to defend Dr Guzman's life.
Much of this
activity has been coordinated and reported on by the more than 50
IEC Emergency Bulletins. Using these as an organizer, supporters
in dozens of countries have carried out independent and creative
activities for more than two years. Hundreds of programs and meetings
have been held. Thousands of book tables and information centres
have been set up. Tens of thousands of people have signed the IEC
Call, as well as other petitions and letters of protest. Strong
appeals have been made to human rights organizations demanding that
they take a stand; when they have refused they have been exposed.
Peruvian embassies and consulates have been picketed and even occupied.
Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets in protest.
Millions of leaflets have been distributed, and posters and banners
have appeared on the walls of hundreds of cities around the world.
Songs have been composed. Leaflets and news articles have been published
in both the mainstream and alternative media. The IEC video "You
Must Tell the World" and "People of the Shining Path" have been
shown on battery-powered VCRs in small villages nestled in the Himalayas,
to peasants in the steaming jungles of Colombia, behind the walls
of ivy-towered universities in America and in ghettos from Berlin's
Kreuzberg to Los Angeles and Calcutta. To say that millions of people
have heard the truth about Chairman Gonzalo and the People's War
in Peru for the first time during the past two years is no exaggeration.
1992 As news of Dr Guzman's arrest flashes around the world,
people immediately demand that his life be respected. Within days,
tens of thousands sign the IEC Call to Defend the Life of Dr Guzman.
1992 Dr Guzman's historic "speech from the cage" is broadcast
around the world.
1992 In Lima, the first IEC delegation of international lawyers
is refused entry to the secret trial of Dr Guzman, but their presence
makes media headlines and informs the Peruvian people of the worldwide
campaign. Dr Guzman's "trial" by a military tribunal of hooded generals
is denounced worldwide. The government, which had made plans to
execute Dr Guzman on 15 October, is unable to carry them out in
the spotlight of international public opinion. Supporters
around the world pledge "one day's wages" to support the campaign.
The second delegation is arrested by the secret police, DINCOTE,
detained for 30 hours, and expelled.
1992 3rd IEC Delegation arrives in Peru and meets with members
of the Association of Democratic Lawyers. Shortly thereafter, Dr
Guzman's lawyer, Dr Crespo, is arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment.
February 1993 The IEC South Asia Regional
Conference is held in Kathmandu, Nepal. Two weeks later, more than
1,000 people from 33 countries attend the IEC Founding Conference
April 1993 The 4th IEC Delegation is welcomed
by shantytown residents in Lima, who ask them to "go back to your
countries and tell them what you have seen and what you have heard
14-15 May, 1993 - International Days of Action
Powerful unified actions denouncing the treatment of Dr Guzman
and demanding respect for his life and health are carried out simultaneously
by supporters in more than 20 countries.
July 1993 A team of international lawyers
meet to support 3 petitions on behalf of Dr Guzman, other political
prisoners, and democratic lawyers which were filed with the OAS
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) by lawyers in
12-24 September 1993 Coordinated international
activities mark the first anniversary of Dr Guzman's capture. Activists
arrange for Dr Guzman's "speech from the cage" to be disseminated
round the world - on radio, in newspapers, in leaflets, and through
August-November 1993 Two international lawyers
argue for support for the petitions filed by the Lima lawyers at
an IACHR session. Sweeping range of activities against the
official reinstatement of the death penalty in Peru and the government's
intention to use it against Dr Guzman and other imprisoned political
leaders. 5th Delegation arrives in Peru to demand an end
to the isolation of Dr Guzman, which by Peruvian law was to have
ended on 12 September 1993. Formal requests to visit Dr Guzman are
filed by international lawyers in the IACHR case.
January-February 1994 Lawyers from Colombia
and Mexico maintain a prolonged presence in Peru in pursuit of breaking
the isolation of Dr Guzman.
March 1994 - IEC East Asia Speaking Tour Three
IEC delegates meet with organizations of peasants, workers, students,
political prisoners, women, and human rights groups in the Philippines
April 1994 The IEC video, "You Must Tell
the World", is released.
19-20 May 1994 Coordinated international
days of action demand an end to Dr Guzman's isolation, respect for
the basic rights of political prisoners, freedom for lawyers, and
denounce US intervention in Peru.
12-24 Sept 1994 International Days of Action
marking two years since the capture of Dr Guzman's focus on denouncing
the US-Fujimori regime for refusing to allow Dr Guzman to meet with
his lawyers, his family, his medical doctors or his friends, and
demand an end to his complete and total isolation.
Sept-Nov 1994 Thousands sign a Demand to
End the Isolation, which is published in newspapers in many countries.
Nov 1994 International mobilization against
the Peruvian regime's genocidal military offensive, which Fujimori
proudly called a "Little Vietnam"!
ABOVE: Caracas, Venezuela. Following the resolution
of the IEC founding conference to spread the campaign in Latin America,
IEC Colombia took the message to Venezuela and Ecuador as well as
other neighbouring countries where they were warmly greeted.
ABOVE: "Long Live the PCP". Part of the internationalist
and anti-imperialist contingent of May First 1993 demonstrations.
BELOW: Graffiti on the Hills of Tamil Nadu, India,
calls on people to join the international movement to release Comrade
You Must Tell the World!
The dramatic story of the IEC campaign with footage
from many countries.
For more information and orders write
International Emergency Committee
BCM IEC, 27 Old Gloucester St., London WC1N 3XX,
Tel\Fax: (44) (171) 482-0853
Price: £40 [£20 for people from oppressed countries]
IEC-U.S.: 2440 16th Street No. 217
San Francisco, CA 94103
Tel: (1) (415) 252 5786 Fax: (1) (415) 252 7414
$35 each (including postage) for up to three copies.
$22 each for orders of four or more. Please make cheques payable
to IEC-U.S. NTSC format
Or contact the IEC Chapter in your area
TOP ROW FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Members of the 5th
delegation: Haluk Geregek, Turkey; Martin Heiming, Germany; Peter
Erlinder, US; and Mario Bustamente, Mexico.
Dhaka, Bangladesh: Recreation of Chairman Gonzalo's
historic cage speech. The Banner floating over demonstration of
International Days of Action, reads "Buildup revolutionary struggle
in order to seize our own power along the Maoist ideology."
Pakistan: 1992; Demanding the freedom of Comrade
Gonzalo along with political prisoners in South Africa.
London, UK. September 1994.