Amnesty International on Behalf of Imperialism

Luis Quispe lquispe at
Sat Feb 10 22:53:32 MST 1996

The New Flag,
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                       (Part 1 of 3)

The U.S. State Department denounces "human rights
violations" by the People's War led by the Communist
Party of Peru (PCP), in a calculated attempt to gain
public support for U.S. intervention and to justify and
cover up genocides and masacres committed by the armed
forces it supports.  In Peru and other parts of the
world, the "human rights" campaign of imperialism goes
hand-in- hand with the public relations campaign
launched by supposedly "neutral" but well financed
human rights organizations in the world such as
Ammnesty International (AI) and Right's Watch (formerly
America's Watch), both paralleling the language of the
State Department. AI reports on the U.S. bombings of
Iraq, Panama, and Bosnia confirm the latter and Peru is
not the exception.

AI is not ignorant of the basic realities of Peru. It
has an office in Lima that receives and develops data
on government atrocities for some years. However, they
are not allowed to conduct on-site visits to see
villages razed by the Army nor to witness the mass
graves denounced by the people. They have to rely on
the military reports and the Peruvian press which in
its majority is controlled by the government. The very
existence of AI (for financial and security reasons)
depends on how much they can go along with the slanders
of the regime against the revolution. Mr. Abugattas (AI
employee in Peru) has once stated: "We have no choice
but to report the accusations of the government against
Sendero in order to reveal the most henyous crimes of
the military." Although we acknowledge Mr. Abugattas'
honesty, no one can believe that AI is a "neutral"
political organization. It was and it is one important
tool of U.S. foreign policy in the world.

In November 1991, Al issued a major report on Peru, and
called for a year-long campaign in 1992. The report
includes exposure of the atrocious crimes of the
Peruvian army and the Fujimori government.
Unfortunately, the AI reports of 1991, 1992, 1993, have
made a major point of attacking the revolution in Peru.
AI essentially sustains the State Department's position
that the people of Peru, particularly the peasantry,
suffer human rights violations from each side, and are
"caught between two fires," and that the Peruvian Army
and the maoist rebels are equal oppressors and
tormentors of the people. At the same, however, the
U.S. backs vigourisly "one of the fires" it condems the
dictatorship of Fujimori and also direct the law
intensity warfare against the Peruvian people.

The military coup (or self-coup) came not long after
the U.S. government and media had launched a "human
rights" propaganda offensive against the People's
War.In a Congressional testimony of March 12, 1992,
Underscretary of State for Latin American Affairs
Bernard Aronson said: "The international community and
respected human rights organizations (AI, America'a
Watch) must focus the spotlight of world attention on
the threat which Sendero poses."
"Latin America has seen violence and terror, but none
like Sendero's ..." and "make no mistake, if Sendero
were to take power, we would see this century's third
genocide." (The U.S. State Department defines the first
two genocides as Nazi Germany and Cambodia in the
1970s. It suddently forgets the genocides pepetrated by
U.S. imperialismm and its allies in Iraq, Panama,
Bosnia and Peru. How about the genocide of American
indians by the "founding fathers"?.)

Few days later, Aronson was in Lima to coordinate the
implementation of the military "Coup D'etat." Which
according to the bourgeois magazine Caretas of Sept.
21, 1995, had as main objectives:  1) the dissolution
of the parliament and set up a subservient Congres
instead, 2) the cooptation of the judiciary and the
curtailment of the constotutional rights by state of
emergencies and curfews, 3) the total annihilation of
the subversives, including its supporters and
relatives. [Vo. 1, pg. 11 of Plan del Golpe.] This
explains the silence and complicity in the military
coup of these U.S. funded "respected" human rights

The coup was an attempt by the big bourgeoissie in Peru
(and the U.S.) to pull themselves together to defeat
the revolutionary people's war led by the Communist
Party of Peru (PCP). The coup meant greater
centralization of military and police power, and the
stripping away of anything that stood even slightly in
opposition to unleashing the brutal power of the
Peruvian state, especially in the cities since in much
of the countryside, there exist the open People's
Committees and ther has been a "state of emergency" for

In addition to facilitate the U.S. military
intervention in Peru, the "human rights" campaign
against the Peruvian revolution fullfills a preventive
role. It tries to prevent that the broad progressive
sections of the people in the U.S. (especially the
oppressed), and liberal church groups, supporters of
genuine human and people's rights, etc. support the
People's War. That is the best way to gain the "moral
high ground" for U.S. intervention and government
policy in general. During the Reagan and Bush
administrations, the "war on drugs," was the "official
story" justifying and covering for U.S. military
intervention, and this is still the framework for much
U.S. aid under Clinton. Under the CIA strategy of "war
on drugs," the PCP is painted without a shred of
evidence as "narco-terrorist," the U.S. built up
military firebases in zones that are strongholds of the
revolution, Green Berets are heavily involved in
"training missions," and overall, has begun to open up
a whole new level of relations with its lackeys, the
Peruvian government and military. Under the cover of
the "war on drugs," the U.S. built up a massive
high-tech infrastructure in the Caribbean and in South
America. This is similar to the kind of infrastructure
built up in Saudi Arabia and used as a command and
control center for the war against Iraq. [Clarles Lane,
"The Newest War", Newsweek Jan. 6, 92]  But the lies
behind the "war on drugs" have become increasingly
exposed as facades by the mainstream press such as the
New York Times and Wall Street Journal that have
ridiculed the U.S. allegations of drug-trafficking by
the PCP, and exposing Fujimori's government and its
military of being thoroughly involved in drug
trafficking [New York Times, Feb. 16, 1992.] In 1994,
this fact was confirmed when the Peruvian press
reported that  Army and police officers in charge of
the counterinsurgence war in the Huallaga Valley were
involved in drug trafficking [Expreso, Nov. 28, 94.]

However, the "war on drugs" alone is not enough to
shape public opinion against the revolutionary stormm
of the people in Peru and Latin America.

The revolution has been making powerful advances that
require for increasingly drastic action from the U.S.
and the Peruvian government if there is to be any
chance of stopping it [Gordon McCormick, "From the
Sierra to the Cities," Rand Corporation Jan. 1992.] Of
course, know we know that this drastic measure was to
carry out the military coup in April 1992 and intensify
the "human rights" campaign against the People's War.

Also in 1992, Bernard Aronson called AI and America's
Watch to coordinate this offensive against the emerging
revolution, according to them was near to seize power
in Peru. This campaign was designed to terrify the
middle classes in the United States and Europe on "the
horrible crimes of the Shining Path", using this to
justify in advance the crimes that the U.S. government
and the bloody Fujimori regime were planning to carried
out during and after the April military coup. The
Aronson's charges against the PCP were soon followed up
by AI and America's Watch reports providing
"justification" for such baseless charges. This
campaign were quickly echoed throughout the mainstream
press in the U.S., and repeated over and over again
during the military coup and during the genocide of 100
political prisoners and prisoners of war in the
CantoGrande prison perpetrated in May, 92. Thus, both
crimes against the Peruvian People, the coup and the
genocide of Cantogrande were fully "justified" by the
U.S. and its "human rights" tools [AI and America's

Faithful to the State Department's policy on "focusing
on sendero", AI was held a major international
conference in Japan, it declared that it would put
greater emphasis than in the past on criticizing and
attacking revolutions through the world, in the form of
a "equally" criticizing revolutionaries and the
counter-insurgency measures of reactionary states. ["AI
to Stress Abuses by Rebels", Detroit Free Press, Sept.
9, 1991] In the 1990's, obviuosly the main target of
this AI's counterrevolutionary policy is the People's
War in Peru. Indeed, in a newsletter (Ammesty Action
Newsletter of Jan-Feb, 92, AI confirmed that the PCP
was its main target.) To people who see AI as a
champion of those who are repressed and persecuted, how
incongruous it must be to see it turning its fire
against supporters or a people's liberation movement.

It is in these circumstances that the bloody masacre of
400 political prisoners in the jail of Cantogrande
takes place, exposing the role of AI before the people
(100 prisoners were killed after they surrendered).
How far would AI go in carrying out this orientation of
criticizing a people's revolution "equally" with the
blatant genocides carried out by the government? AI has
exposed itself. During the Army assault of the prison
of Cantogrande the Communists resisted 3 weeks, and AI
did not make any criticism of the butchery. It only
release an Urgent Action Alert after vicious murder of
the political prisoners. Too late and too little.  In
sum, it is clear that AI and other "human rights" in
the U.S. contribute to the role of the U.S. Congress,
and the State Department in "demonizing" and distorting
beyond recognition the genuine revolution in Peru. The
hypocritical "condemantions" of the brutalities of the
Fujimori Regime and its Army, generally after the
facts, do not relieve the their counterrevolutionary
role at the service of U.S. Imperialism.

to be continued...

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