Communist Party of Peru is Not Anti-gay

Ken Howard kenhow at
Fri Apr 5 17:13:08 MST 1996

>In March (94),Prison Legal News (PLN) published an
>article that included statements from the Communist
>Party of Peru (PCP) and gay activists in Peru, all
>denying that the PCP persecutes gay people for their
>sexual orientation.
>The discussion in PLN was started by a transsexual prisoner
>who while supportive of the revolution, repeated information
>he had heard from members of the Movimiento Homosexual de la
>Lima (MOHL).  The prisoner also suggested that those of us
>doing the investigation into these charges didn't have any
>connections with the MOHL.
>The PCP replied to the prisoner:
>"We have sought articles on the homosexual question written
>by our teachers, that is to say Marx, Lenin and Chairman
>Mao and even others, but we have not found any, nor has
>our party specifically addressed this question in its
>documents.  In general, it appears to us that there is an
>excessive pre-occupataion with this subject in certain
>revolutionary and militant circles, which does not exist in
>Europe.  They are, as we have previously stated, lies and
>slander which claim that the PCP kills gays for being gay
>or makes statements against them.
>"In reality, if we examine what Marxism says, the problem
>is not one of a person's sexual orientation but rather
>the class position that they take as everyone is classified
>as revolutionary, progressive, democrat, revisonist or
>reactionary.  Far from making a lengthy analysis here, we
>can see that homosexuals have existed in all societies,
>some from birth, others converted by the social environment
>in which they live or have lived, the latter seems extremely
>influential to us.  Our view is that homosexual orientation
>is not an ideological matter but one of individual preference.
>"It is probable that the PCP has executed a homosexual,
>but rest assured that it was not done because of their
>sexual orientation but because of their position against
>the revolution.  It is not difficult to see that in the
>bars and brothels of Peruvian cities frequented by
>elements of the police and army some homosexuals work
>as snitches and collaborators and because of this they
>accumulate blood debts with the revolution so that when
>the party seizes that city it will settle accounts with
>these elements, regardless of their sexual orientation.
>What then happens is the government and reactionary
>media report that that the Party killed gays or "cleaned
>up" the city.
>"We reiterate that the PCP does not attack, slander nor
>discriminate against anyone because of their sexual
>orientation.  In fact, party membership is open to all
>who support the cause of communist revolution and the
>principles of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, Gonzalo thought,
>regardless of what their sexual preferences may be.  We
>believe that there are other more important and crucial
>topics over which to open major discussion, as for
>example, that of revolutionary violence, which is
>concretely the universal weapon of the People's War,
>etc." (1)
>MOHL denies allegation
>Prison Legal News reported that the "Uruguayan weekly
>Brecha, in its Feb. 12,1993, edition" published an
>interview with "Enrique Bossio, a member of the
>Homosexual Movement of Lima, Bossio is quoted as
>saying that the PCP has not made gays the focus of any
>attacks" but indicated that the Tupac Amaru (MRTA),
>a pro-Cuban focoist group in Peru, did persecute gays.
>Prison Legal News also contacted Lucien Chauvin, a gay
>journalist and activist in Lima, who "confirmed that
>the PCP does not attack homosexuals because of their
>sexual orientation.  He stated that there were opportunist
>elements in the gay community in Peru who had jumped on
>the anti-PCP bandwagon to advance their own interests.
>Mr. Chauvin makes clear that he is no supporter or
>sympathizer of the PCP.  He suggested that perhaps
>(the prisoner) is confusing the PCP with the Tupac
>What started rumors?
>A Peruvian exile in Europe speculate that rumors of
>PCP persecution of homosexuals grew out of the PCP's
>opposition to prostitution.  Women and men in Peru are
>sometimes forced into prostitution by poverty.  This
>includes men who are not gay, but prostitute themselves
>to other men for money.  When the PCP liberates territory,
>prostitution is opposed.  That could look like opposition
>to homosexuality.
>Carol Andreas, at a recent lecture in Boston, said that
>homosexuality is acceptable among the indigenous people
>of Peru, who make up the majority of PCP.
>Gossip serves imperialism
>Prison Legal News concluded:  "When an allegation is
>made it helps to look at who stands to benifit from
>making it and of course who is making it.  Support for
>the PCP is controversial because they are an openly
>communist party who are engaged in a peoples' war with
>the express goal of seizing state power and installing
>a popular, communist government and economy.  But the
>goal of the anti-imperialist countries who do not
>define themselves as communists or revolutionaries
>should  be to ensure that their governments do not
>intervene in Peru.  The Choice of the form of
>government in Peru must be made by the Peruvian people,
>not the U.S. government or the International Monetary
>Fund.  The goal of non-intervention is a simple one
>that should not be influenced by baseless allegations." (1)
>1.  Prison Legal News 3/94, pp 11, 13-14
>Subscribe to Prison Legal News, Suggested contributions
>$12.  Prison Legal News, PO Box 1684 Lake Worth, Florida
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Thank you for this clarification.
Ken Howard.

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