[Marxism] Mari?tegui versus APRA

Paul H. Dillon illonph at pacbell.net
Sun Jan 1 06:21:28 MST 2006


I don't know what to tell you.  I lived there, I knew people associated both 
with Sendero and the Army.

Most of what you've written is really splicing hairs or semantic or wrong..

Read Ivan DeGregori.

Among the oddities in your message:

> The first official action of the war was burning amphorae in Chuschi, in

??This is ridiculous, really.   I'd really like to know your source.  I 
witnessed the Anchonga event (ie, heard about it the afteernoon it happened 
because I was on the other side of the valley from people I knew well). 
Everything I've read places the Chuschi action on the day of the election 
and to the best of my knowledge, the "amphora" weren't even available the 
day before the election to be burned. The fact that no one has reported 
Anchonga  has other reasons I guess.  The Anchonga action led to the 
immediate installation of the 42nd brigade ( one of the Peruvian Army's 
primary counter-insurgency brigades) in the Lircay Valley within a month.  I 
report this first-hand, not from some text of unknown authorship.

> Sendero never established "liberated zones" per se.  It established what 
> it called Bases of Support run by People's Committees.

Again, one would simply have needed to read Caretas or any other popular 
magazine in Peru or have travelled in the area at the time to know that 
there were "liberated zones" that the army did not go into (at first), that 
Sendero flew its flags over numerous communities in the Ayacucho highlands 
throughout the period of the 80s.

Does it matter what the people who live in the area consider these 
phenomena, or is their reality the product of some correct historical and 
political line coming out of some committee somewhere?  Once something is in 
the public domain, it no longer belongs to those who started it.  Official 
names are irrelevant to anybody but officials especially in a war zone, 
which was what the central highlands became..

> However, that sanctified line could not survive concrete reality on the 
> ground, and by the late 1980s it is clear that the urban sector, meaning 
> Lima, had grown to rival the importance of the rural sector.

Lima was always of greater importance.  In every town throughout the central 
Andes from southern Huamanga to Junin, migrants come and go from Lima daily, 
in many cases it is little more than one days travel in bouncing buses over 
unpaved highland roads to the coast and the linkages between migrant 
communities in Lima and the home communities in the Andes were key to the 
entire dynamic always a constant flow between the two.  Sendero really 
didn't take that into account which was one of their grreat strategic 
failures.  That is the void the Movimiento Revolucionario Tupac Amaru moved 
in to fill but they were just on the other side of the bad theory that the 
coast and the highlands were somehow separate - although it is true that 
there were urban working classes (criollos and blacks) who had nothing at 
all to do with the highlands (prejudiced against "indios"  in fact) that 
would have been a legitimate focus of a strategy that didn't take the 
linkages between coast and highlands into account.

>> Finally, the very name "shining path" or Sendero Luminoso, was taken 
>> directly from Mariategui's "Siete Ensays Sobre la Realidad Peruana.".

> That said, "Sendero Luminoso" was never am official moniker of the party, 
> and was rejected in the early years of the war.  Eventually, even Guzman 
> found himself using it to refer to his organization, though insisting that 
> the proper name was "Partido Comunista del Peru."
I have documents in which the PCP put Sendero Luminoso in big letters and 
PCP in small ones.  What you've written is  equivalent to saying the 
":Bolshiveks" was not an official name.

> As to whether he is still a committed Maoist, that remains to be seen. 
> Certainly his capitulation seems to fly in the face of the very line which 
> he espoused for so long.

I wrote was/is? which communicates the same.

Paul Dillon 

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