CPP and Degregori (LONG)

Matt D. afn02065 at afn.org
Tue Sep 12 15:15:23 MDT 1995

Got in touch with The New Flag, put out by the MPP (Peruvian People's
Movement), a pro-Sendero group based in New York City.  Here's what they
sent me on Degregori, along with my comments.  Except for the first excerpt,
which is from another communication between me and them, their stuff is
extracted from the colorfully titled "The Lies Against the CPP:
Senderologists, Evangelists of Death and Deceit."  Ellipses indicate where
I've deleted material.


Most of the stuff on Degregori, including his piece that Louis posted, is
towards the end.

>Degregori works very close with the military in Peru and he heads a
>NGO funded by the US State Department "The Institute of Peruvian Studies".

How can I go about confirming this?  Anyone have any independent info?

>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?
>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]

The citations attached don't link up exactly with the indicators in the
text.  Context suggests this is one of citations 2-5.  Sorry.

>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. . . .

Even the U.S. government doesn't deny this.  See the Human Rights Report on
the Department of State gopher at:


>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.

These are also the figures the U.S. Government uses.

>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.

Veterans of the solidarity movements will recognize the "ronda" strategy
from, among otehr places, Guatemala.  Basically, villagers are press-ganged
into armed patrols that are supposed to "protect" them from the rebels.
This goes along with "fortification" (i.e. encirclement) of villages,
garrisoning of soldiers, etc.  The U.S. government implemented a similar
program in South Vietnam back in the day.

Needless to say, encounters with armed rondas and their military "advisors"
is represented in the bourgeois media as "peasant massacres."

>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 Agency for International Development server has some stuff on expanding
opportunities in the Peruvian economy at:


but provides no figure on actual direct U.S. investments.  Does anybody have
any figures on this?  How big can it be?  My own understanding has been that
U.S. military intervention (establishment of firebases, sharing of arial
reconnaiscence, provision of supplies) has mostly been under the guise of
the "War on Drugs" -- this despite the fact that the Peruvian military is
one of the largest participants in the drug trade.

>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.

I think Moyano is the fabled "Mother Courage"..

>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. . . .
>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. . . .

Well, we can believe a State Department-funded comprador intellectual, or a
Marxist revolutionary organization fighting against a murderous regime.  Hmm...

> 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.

This is the classic Maoist New Democratic Revolution formula.  No reason to
believe its offered insincerely.  (We do all agree that they're Maoists,
don't we?)

>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. . . .

That the electoral left in Peru is impotent at best and not unlikely a wolf
in sheep's clothing:  We need only recall the example of Duarte in El
Salvador.  This valiant champion of legality and human rights, who was
himself imprisoned under the first junta, went on to become a pliant tool of
the psychopathic Salvadoran military and the Reagan administration.  The
legal "left" in Peru also collaborates with a regime that has proven beyond
any shadow of a doubt that it is unwilling and unable to curb the most
horrific human rights abuses perpetrated by a government against its own
people in the hemisphere if not the world.  How "left" is that?

>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'"[6].
>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. . . .  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.  ..."[7]
>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.
>Degregori along with the chief military commander in Puno, Army general
>Torrealva, blamed [this] on the PCP. There is absuletely no evidence that
>of the Regional Committee of Puno executed Huarsalla. The
>slander of the Army collaborator Degregori has been denied by the Party
>in 1991 and published in El Diario in early 1991. . . .

This, of course, is the incident Degregori's account of which was posted by
Louis the other day.  The U.S. State Dept. report, as well as the Amnesty
International report I cited in an earlier posting, are full of
well-documented, independently confirmed accounts of this sort of thing
being done by the security forces.  There are no such accounts (i.e., no
accounts from sources other than the Peruvian government and its lackeys
like Degregori) of such being done by the CPP.  Do list members find it hard
to believe that a goverment death squad would murder a popular peasant
leader who by Degregori's own account was sympathetic to Sendero?  Louis'
post reads more like a cautionary fable (sell your simple peasant soul to
Sendero, and one day "La Gringa" will come to collect the debt) than a
recounting of actual events.

>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
>imperialists. . . .
>. . .
>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.
>. . .

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

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