Shining Path and Ridgway

Maoist Internationalist Movement mim3 at
Mon Sep 11 13:22:10 MDT 1995

On Mon, 11 Sep 1995, Louis N Proyect wrote:

> Louis Proyect:
> It was a few minutes before noon on April 8, 1987 when a Senderista
> "annihilation commando" entered San Juan de Salinas, in the
> department of Puno near the Bolivian border. Zenobio Huarsalla knew
> who they were after. As a long-time campesino leader, founder of the
> powerful Federacion Departmental de Campesinos de Puno, his
> radicalism had led him to sympathize with Sendero. But at the end of
> 1986, when the townspeople asked him to run for mayor on the
> Izquierda Unida ticket, Huarsalla agreed. Sendero considered him a
> traitor, a servant of the "old state." Soon after his overwhelming
> victory at the polls, the town hall was dynamited.

MIM replies: I notice that the organization Solidarity used to bash us with
Izquierda Unida. Some leftists have had the integrity to since admit
that Izquierda Unida was never anything but the worst social-democratic
figleaf for fascism. IU endorsed Fujimori for president and
took places in his cabinet. I hope that you comrade are just lightly
read and not very serious, because otherwise it would appear you and
the legal-minded social democrats who respected Hitler's rise to
power have much in common.

Are you defending Fujimori and if so, what does that have to do
with Marxism?
> Now, as they drag him toward the center of the plaza he sees his wife
> and his parents among the crowd that is gathering to watch the
> "popular trial". The commando commits the error of asking the crowd
> if Huarsalla should be executed. The response is an emphatic "No!"
> The Senderistas argue with the crowd, and it finally falls silent. Then
> Huarsalla, who has been kneeling under the muzzles of two rifles,
> jumps to his feet.
> "I have been jailed five times," he says looking at this executioners. "I
> know who you are, but I have never given you away." Then he speaks
> to the townspeople: "If you ask me to, I will resign." Cries of "No!"
> again fills the plaza. The campesinos begin to close in on the
> Senderistas. The commando is nervous. Then "La Gringa" jumps
> forward. She is a white woman famous in Puno for the savagery of her
> attacks. People say she has even gouged out the eyes and cut out the
> tongues of her victims. La Gringa moves toward Huarsalla and with
> one shot blows out his brains. Amid the cries and confusion, the
> Senderistas retreat.

MIM replies: if factually true the above is bad. The "La Gringa" thing
has the taste of a police concocted story, however. We should try to
look harder at the social composition of the PCP-led movement.

Are you meaning to say if one militant makes a gross mistake you
should call off the revolution? Do you fantasize that the masses
and PCP army militants are perfect? Are there any revolutions that have
occurred that you supported that didn't have such violence?
How does picking at one case of violence to typify a revolution
differ from the tactics of the police?

If you are meaning to ask about this case of violence, then why don't you
also print the PCP 's self-criticisms for killing the wrong people sometimes
that are spray-painted on buildings in Peru?

> Since Zenobio Huarsalla was murdered, at least eight other Izquierida
> Unida mayors have been assassinated by Sendero, including Ayacucho
> mayor Fermin Zaparrent. Between 1987 and 1989, Sendero killed five
> leaders of the mineworkers union. In April 1989, a dozen community
> leaders who had opposed Sendero in the Cunas Valley of the Central
> Andes were massacred; several of them were members of the leftist
> Confederacion Campesina del Peru. In Lima, at the beginning of 1989,
> the president of the textile workers union, Enrique Castilla was
> murdered; a sign was left on his body: "This is how traitors who sell
> out the workers die." Castilla was a member of the Partido Unificado
> Mariatequista (PUM), the most radical of the legal Left. PUM leaders
> maintain that twenty of their members have gunned down by Sendero
> to date, most of them in the southern Andes.

MIM replies: I gather from your reprinting this part without comment
that you haven't studied this deeply yet. Since that time these
IU people you talk about helped engineer Fujimori to power. He
abolished what you call "the legal Left;" albeit partially by
incorporating some of its ever-putrid elements.

Have you no shame for what the IU path led to? Fujimori now leads
a military dictatorship openly. This is in contrast to the
covert military dictatorship of social-democratic figleaf regimes
in the past.

The central fact is this: Peru's "legal Left" has remarkable
flexibility in serving in Parliament and military regimes in
craven capitulation. The only organization otherwise--and
there was every stripe imaginable in Peru, Trots, Deng Xiaopingers,
social-dems etc--the only other organization to actually be independent
of the government was the pro-Cuban group, and even that one
dissolved in 1993. Now it is PCP vs. the military dictatorship.
That's all.

Pat for Maoist Internationalist Movement

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