Peru thread - middle ground?

Chris, London 100423.2040 at
Thu Feb 22 01:16:07 MST 1996

Are you so brave, Barkley, that you begin to think there
is now some safe middle ground in the Peru thread?



Date: Wed, 21 Feb 1996 18:02:31 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Peru thread
To: marxism at

     I had announced after answering Chris B.'s inquiry
about the name of the PCP leader that I would stay out of
this thread due to ignorance.   That was only partially
correct.  In fact I know a lot, and at that point I already
knew what should now be apparent to this list:
     It is very hard to determine what is the truth about
the charges against the PCP.
     Here is how I see it:
1)  The current government is repressive and indeed killing
lots of people and in some cases has succeeded in falsely
getting the PCP blamed for some of their murders.
2)  There is no way at this time of getting at the truth about
much of this because many of those accusing the PCP (Reniques
and DeGregori) have questionable backing.  On the other hand,
especially because of mindless defenses of Stalin and various
other incredible remarks, the defenders of the PCP seriously
lack credibility.
3)  The one group who as far as I am concerned has made charges
and which still has credibility is Amnesty International.  I
know that the PCP supporters denounce it, but those denunciations
do not have the ring of potential validity that those against
NACLA and MR have.  I note Chris Burford's report of a wall graffitum
in Lima by the PCP "self criticizing" about some killings.  It does
seem likely that at least some improper killings have occurred,
whether or not they are to the extent claimed by PCP critics.
4)  To speak personally, the reason that I have known how uncertain
all this is is that I know a number of progressive experts in
various disciplines on Peru who have spent time there.  I have heard
from them a wide variety of claims on this matter from very few
killings by the PCP to the claims of whole villages being done in.
Given the inability of any of us to get in there and actually see
what is going on, I see no way of determining at this time the
truth or falsity of any of these claims on either side.

     Maybe a little caution on all sides would be desirable in
regard to this matter.

Barkley Rosser

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