PERU: Beyond the Slanders, the Revolution Marches Forward!

Luis Quispe lquispe at
Mon Sep 11 23:07:11 MDT 1995


"Until now men have constantly made up misconceptions
about themselves, about what they are and what they ought to be.
They built their relationships according to the ideas of God, of a
perfect man, etc. The phantoms of their brains have gotten out of
their hands" [1]

Over the past decade a group of academics who go by the name
of "senderologists" have suddenly become experts on
terrorism. The use of their "expertise" goes beyond the purely
intellectual endeavors. Senderologists now openly advise the
security forces and army on how and when to repress the people.
Senderologists justify the countless crimes of the army as
necessary in these "times of fear and terror," [2] and "human
rights violation by the terrorists."[3]

The senderologists (Yankee or their Peruvian lackeys) are
pseudo-intellectuals who slander the democratic character and the
historic perspectives of the people's war, the Communist Party of
Peru (PCP) and the Peruvian people.  They have become so obsessed
with distorting the advances of the revolutionary struggle in Peru
to the extreme of making a living out of it.

Most if these senderologists are also based in non-governmental
organizations (NGOs) funded by European and CIA front organizations
(i.e., AID) Their best customers are the governments of Peru and
the U.S. who are in need of counter-insurgency material that serves
two purposes: shape international public opinion against the
people's war and "advise" the security forces. Mystification and
demystification of the revolution.

                     Who are the Senderologists?

The term "senderologist" comes from their nickname in Spanish,
"senderologo", which is used to name those individuals who since
the 1980's are speculating about Sendero Luminoso (this is the name
that the reactionary Peruvian government has been using for the
Communist Party of Peru, PCP.)

In essence, senderologists are former "leftists", infiltrators
and traitors.  The first senderologists were Peruvian journalists
and academics who wrote extensively to distort the people's war led
by the PCP.

During the early 1980's, some of these senderologists have
presented themselves as militants from the Peruvian "Left" (the
cases of Carlos Tapia and Ivan Degregori as members of PUM, Raul
Gonzales and Bernales of IU - electoral parties.) Thus, they
appeared to be more credible when they elaborated distorted
explanations of an organization such as the PCP. They even
suggested of having inside information of the Party. It did not
take long for the people to figure out they were working
hand in hand with the security services. The first one unmasked was
Raul Gonzales, writer for "Si" and "Desco" magazines
when he was photographed at the Cabitos army garrison by journalist
Luis Morales of "El Diario" in Ayacucho.

However, one of the most peculiar characteristics of the
senderologist from the "Left" is that they denounce violence,
specially revolutionary violence, as applied against bourgeois
"popular movements" and bourgeois "civil society"; at the same
time, they openly support reactionary politicians (those
forming the so called "United Left") and willingly participate
in the pseudo-democracy that US imperialism imposes over the
Peruvian masses. It is no surprise that the large numbers of
killings conducted by the Peruvian government forces are only
minor themes in their work.

                        Ivan the Story-teller

Ivan Degregori, one of the most cynical senderologists has made
countless speculations on the people's war. These tales were
summarized in a book by Renique (a mediocre apprentice of
senderology who lives in New York) [Times of Fear, Latin American
Bureau.] The writings of these senderologists provide superficial
descriptions of recent events in Peru, they place special emphasis
on fear, death, and destruction in the country.  Let's see what
they say.

"For the last 12 years, Peru has been suffering one of the
bloodiest armed struggles in contemporary Latin America. Over
27,000 people have been killed. Most have been non-combatants
caught between the fire of fighters for the Peruvian Communist
Party, Sendero Luminoso (PCP-SL) and the military. Unlike other
Latin American guerrilla movements, the PCP-SL has sought to
enforce its own idiosyncratic revolutionary model by declaring the
peasant and working class movements its principal enemies.
Thousands of popular leaders and activists, elected officials,
development workers, priests and nuns, regarded by the PCP-SL as
either `revisionists', `pacifists' or `parliamentary cretins', have
been assassinated by the party's `annihilation squads'.     Economic
and technical infrastructure such as experimental farms,
universities, breeding livestock, soup-kitchens, milk processing
plants, and agricultural equipment, considered by the PCP-SL as
part of the `bourgeois state' or `elements of corruption for the
masses' have also been destroyed."[1]

This distorted view is based on half-truths. It simply hides the
fact that the government forces as part of a strategy commit the
worst crimes in Peru and Latin America. In Peru, during the 1980's,
the military exterminated the population of numerous Andean
villages to the extent that mass graves continue to be found to
this day. Most of these victims were poor peasants accused of
collaborating with the PCP. At present, as reported even by the
bourgeois press such genocidal policies continues.

Many civilians from the cities and the countryside, especially
the poor, have been arrested and never seen again; they simply
disappeared. One of the most recent cases involves the arrest by
the Army of students at the Cantuta University, near Lima, and the
finding of a mass grave containing their bodies [2]. But they
intentionally ignore these events and only provide a number,
27,000, in abstract, without clarifying who is responsible for most
of the killings. Rather, they come up with a figure for 1990: "More
than 60% of Sendero victims were peasants, 27% were slum dwellers
and only 5% police personnel." What is the source of such
misleading information? These were the official figures provided by
the government of Peru in February 1991. So, the information given
by one of the parts in the conflict is taken as a truth. "Thousands
of popular leaders and activists, elected officials, development
workers, priests, nuns, regarded as either `revisionists',
`pacifists' or `parliamentary cretins', have been assassinated by
the party's `annihilation squads`". Again, this is the same
propaganda that the Peruvian government and its senderologists keep
on repeating over and over for the past decade. Their main concern
is the suffering of certain elite, and ignore that millions of
Peruvians, specially the poor, are abused, exploited, raped and
murdered by  such "popular" leaders, elected officials,
bureaucrats, and even priests working hand in hand with the
government. This has been going on as a state practice for
centuries and that's what the people's war intend to change it from
its roots. While they claim to represent the interests of the poor,
they actively are supporting paramilitary rondas, IMF, AID and
other props for the regime. The senderologists are tied to groups
in the US such as the Peru Peace Network or PPN, which is composed
of people linked with some church entities and NGOs, electoral
parties in Peru, and U.S. counterinsurgency. They do not recognize
the fact that U.S. corporations are heavily investing in Peru's
economy and that the U.S. government is therefore militarily
backing counterinsurgency. The suffering of the poor does not
count, their only concern are the blows received by the big
landlords, capitalists, bureaucrats, and their collaborators at the
hands of the PCP.  Granted, the PCP punishes active collaborators
with the police such as Moyano, Huillca or Azcueta.

Senderologists not only misconstrue facts and repeat reactionary
propaganda, they simply lie. A vulgar lie is that the PCP declares
the peasants and workers as its enemies. Renique as mouthpiece of
Degregori (Ivan), supplies a good example: "The PCP-SL has sought
to enforce its own idiosyncratic revolutionary model by declaring
the peasant and working class movements its principal enemies."

The reality is that the "working class movement" as seen by
these reactionaries are state bureaucrats collaborating with the
Peruvian armed forces, capitalists, and the big landlords. The same
is true for those posing as "international aid workers" who help
the counterinsurgency efforts from the state. It is not the
people's war which is the cause of poverty in Peru as they claim,
it is the solution. In our country which has a total population of
22 million, 15 million live in extreme poverty [3]; chronic
malnutrition has reached 5.7 million in 1990, including about 50%
of children under six. That is the reality and that's the cause for
revolutionary violence in Peru. It is the PCP which seeks to
overthrow Peru's bureaucratic capitalist regime that is subservient
to foreign interests and indebted to foreign banks. It is precisely
the PCP that is leading the Peruvian poor in a relentless struggle
for self-reliance and the development of a popular democracy, which
can only be achieved through armed revolution. The opportunist
electoral "left" [the same discredited leaders who supported the
regimes of Apra and Fujimori] go along with the reformist plans of
imperialism for Peru: experimental farms, mixed enterprises, and
other utopian reactionary solutions that will only help to maintain
such extreme conditions. Most Peruvians have nothing, and now more
than ever want everything, everything that the imperialists and
their collaborators are stealing from them. And this requires a
revolution, not "movements", not reforms or experimental farms. The
PCP, as a matter of policy, does not attack poor people who attend
soup kitchens or glass of milk programs, but the PCP is against
those groups who traffic politically and economically with the
needs of the people, as senderologists keep on advocating.

The PCP directs a revolution that relies on masses of poor
people. The masses provide themselves with weapons, food, clothing,
conduct intelligence gathering, military actions, etc. In the
liberated areas, the people's committees establish new production
relations with the corresponding new social relations. All this
would not be possible without the participation of the masses: the
peasants, mainly the poor peasants, the proletariat, and sections
of the bourgeoisie. These are the Peruvian masses making history
with the revolution in Peru.  As the people's war clearly shows in
practice, the peasantry is the main driving force of the
revolution, the proletariat is the class that directs the
revolution, the petty bourgeoisie and part of the middle
bourgeoisie support the revolution. To claim that the PCP has
declared war on some of these social classes, especially on the
poor is a plain lie. It is also not true that the PCP sees as the
"main enemies" the disgraced leaders of the tiny electoral "left."
If that was truth, they wouldn't be around any longer. It's
imperialism and the state apparatuses who are the main targets of
the revolution.

The facts speak for themselves. The revolution in Peru started
in 1980 at one location, Ayacucho. Over the past 14 years it has
expanded all over the country. The People's Guerrilla Army
continues to develop and grows stronger, the number of PCP
militants and supporters in the countryside and the cities has
multiplied, and between 25 to 40 percent of Peruvian territory is
controlled by the PCP through the People's Committees of peasants
and workers [4]. Some intelligence outlets in the U.S. has spread
the rumor that there are only 3,000 active combatants of the PCP.
This is not consistent with their speculation prior to the capture
of Chairman Gonzalo in which they claimed there were 8,000. The
regime acknowledged to have "captured" in that period 4,500.
However, even the most fervent anti-PCP "human rights" group in
Peru admits that more than 60% of those in prison are innocents.
So, the analysis of the senderologists goes down the drain. The
fact of the matter is that million of Peruvians actively support
the people's war because of the powerful ideology of the PCP that
has been ingrained in the masses.

The senderologists try to confuse progressives abroad claiming
the PCP attacks "leftists." They pose themselves as both "leftists"
and "victims." So, whatever they do, they still want to be
considered "leftist" and treated with consideration and respect.
This, even when they openly support the Fujimori regime.  Renique
and his mentor Ivan continued:

"Guzma'n wrote in 1979 that in Peru, `the Right is secondary, our
problem is not with them. The problem is the Left because [the
PCP-SL] is The Party, the salt of the earth, the living tree, the
others are parasites'"[5].

In reality this text is part of a speech delivered by Chairman
Gonzalo to the PCP Central Committee.  He analyzed the position of
the factions within the PCP with regard to the inevitable launching
of the people's war. The speech was published in its entirety under
the titled of "For the New Flag" [we have been inspired by this
masterful speech and have given its name to our newsletter.]
This is what the text actually says:

"...As communists in formation, what path do we want to follow?
who are we? We are nothing except communists. It is necessary to
define the problem today. We face the same problem faced by the
left opportunist line, but we are the left. Here the right is
subsidiary, our problem is not with them, if they want to carry out
their role, let them adopt self-criticism. The problem is us, the
left, because it is the Party, the soil's salt, the living tree,
the others are parasites. The left should burn the futile, it
should wash itself, cleanse itself, remain clean, it should clean
the house, strip the old skin in a frank, truthful, honest way.
Each of us responds for what happens to the other, we are children
of the same cause. It is easy to define the problem because we are
the left; let everyone to demonstrate his/her condition as
communist. We made the Party and that's what we are.  ..."[6]

Again, the right and the left referred to by Chairman Gonzalo
are the Right (the less advanced) and Left (the more advanced)
political tendencies within the PCP, and the problem was to make
the left within the Party even more stronger, to "cleanse itself"
from bourgeois conceptions. The whole speech clearly deals with the
Party, the PCP, and it upholds the left ideology, the proletarian
ideology within the PCP. That much is clear, and consequently, it
also becomes clear that Ivan and his pupil Renique are intellectual
parasites engaged in misconstructions and falsifications. Their
scam failed. They try to fool people, but they are only fooling

Ivan and Renique not only manipulate phrases out of context, but
also introduce their myths. By omitting words, and by introducing
"the PCP-SL"  between words, the left and the PCP are separated and
become antagonistic. Isn't that an easy way to fabricate fake
theories? Ivan and his tool Renique falsify the original text and
presents it as if the "left" were the revisionist left, that is the
"United Left" Party in Peru made up by parasites like them. In sum,
this kind of scam is not an isolated case; the presentations of
senderologists, especially from Ivan Degregori (the most cynical
one) are full of similar falsifications.

Senderologists not only falsify texts, events, and even deceive
the progressive audience posing as "leftists" victims but sometimes
they pose as "neutral" academics, and go on to show their
"neutrally" by supporting the reactionary Peruvian regime and
their open hostility to the people's war. Let's see again the case
of Ivan Degregori, head of the Institute of Peruvian Studies, a NGO which
is funded by U.S. imperialism.

The death squad "Grupo Colina" executed in Puno to peasant leader Huarsalla.
Degregory along the Chief military commander in Puno Army general
Torrealva blamed on the PCP. There is absuletely no evidence that members
of the Regional Committee of Puno has executed publicly Huarsalla. The
slander of the Army collaborator Degregori has been denied by the Party
in 1991 and published in El Diario in early 1991.

"The shining path project combines science and religion." "The
PCP is a sect with religious identity," "the peasants are forced to
support the revolution", "the PCP follows rationalist
fundamentalism" [7], etc. These are nothing more than his own
mythical conceptions not supported by facts at all. Degregori
tries, as in the Middle Ages, to explain events as a priest of the
holy ghost, through religious analogies. His obscure explanations
and his connections with reactionary academics in the U.S. allow
him to take the lead among senderologists. Degregori, however, has
a special characteristic that the others lack; he contradicts
himself and exposes his own lies.

Thus, recently in New York [8], Degregori informed us that the
captured chairman of the PCP is not being tortured, despite
the fact that Guzman is in isolation for the past 19 months
with no one being able to visit him, not even his lawyer (who is
prison for just having the guts to be his lawyer) nor visitors from
international delegations [9]. Strangely enough, before ending his
presentation, Degregori mentioned that "Guzma'n is in a cage" and
"buried alive," "he will die soon in prison." If this is not
torture, what is it? Let us hope that in our country some day
the situation is reversed and stooges such as Degregori or
Fujimori learn how is to be placed in a tiger cage and thrown

"Guzman's polarized world view, divides everything into
absolute good and absolute evil"[10] declared Poole and Renique,
"The PCP follows rationalist fundamentalism" cries Degregori,
"the PCP is linked to narcotrafic" screams Raul Gonzales and Carlos
Tapia, "the revolution is defeated" "Guzma'n is surrendering" shout
all senderologists. These slanders are continuosly repeated, and
all to cover up this simple truth: the People's War is advancing
victoriously in Peru.

Imperialism and the Peruvian regime reward the senderologists in
kind. They're the recipients of grants for desktop studies,
academic appointments and frequent travels to the U.S., etc. are
some of the "treats" they receive.

If Peruvian senderologists see only appearances and make up
stories out of them, Yankee senderologists are not different, after
all, to make up stories of people's fear and terror at the hands of
the rebels is a good "stuff" not only to make their beans but it is
also a marketing thing that sell pretty well in conservative
circles in the U.S. with the aim of creating counter-revolutionary
propaganda against the people's war.

For the senderologists, it is by terrifying the proletariat and
the peasants that the PCP is making the revolution. However, the
situation is quite the reverse: senderologists are the ones who are
terrified when they see that the people of Peru are upholding the
ideology of the proletariat, Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, principally
Maoism, which is leading the masses to victory. The peoples of the
world know that all their slanders are part of the international
propaganda campaign conducted by the imperialists, chiefly US

The People's War will inevitably win!!

Let us greet the birth of the People's Republic of Peru!!

Down with the counter-revolutionary treachery "peace

Long live Chairman Gonzalo!!

Proletarians of all countries, unite!!


1.  K. Marx and F. Engels, The German Ideology, Part
    1, International Publishers, NY., 1986, p. 37.
2.  Third World Viewpoint, Fall 1993, p. 20.
3.  Cambio 16 America, No. 1282, 10/14/93, Madrid, p.36.
4.  Caretas magazine No. 1282, October 14, 1993. Lima,
    Peru, p. 34.
5.  Expreso newspaper 10/12/90 as quoted by G.H.
    McCormick's "From the Sierra to the City," Rand National Defense
    Research Council, 1992, p. 38.
6.  Degregori cited by Poole and Renique, Ibid., p.21.
7.  Recopilation of PCP documents by Luis Arce Borja,
    Guerra Popular en Peru_, Pensamiento Gonzalo, Brussels,
    1989, p.144.
8.  Degregori, presentation at Lehman College, NY, 11/08/93.
9.  Delegation of the US National Lawyers Guild.
10. Item 2, Ibid., p. 21.

The New Flag, Vol. 1 No. 3, September 1994
30-08 Broadway, Suite 159
Queens, NY 11106

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