Issue No. 5 November 1992
A monthly bulletin chronicling and assessing the ongoing struggle between the Government of Peru and Sendero Luminoso (SL or Shining Path). Published by the Federation of American Scientists Fund's Project on Peru
The nationwide elections for a Constituent Congress on November 22 will come as a relief to most Peruvians. The reason is not that the elections restore a skeleton of democratic procedures to the government of President Alberto Fujimori. Rather, the lackluster, slipshod campaign has not dealt with the real-life hardships of most voters, and an already predictable Fujimori victory was guaranteed from the outset by his outwitting the political opposition and the capture of Sendero chieftain Abimael Guzmán.
Beyond the tedium of the campaign, however, the elections mark a sea change in Peruvian politics and society. In the wake of SL offensives and economic austerity, Peru is a radically different country with new challenges for rebuilding viable government and thwarting the dynamics of political violence. The old assumptions about how the society works have been destroyed.
Under international pressure from the Organization of American States (OAS), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the U.S. Department of State following the April 5 presidential coup, which dissolved Congress and reorganized the judiciary, Fujimori convoked a national election to select a new congress with powers to rewrite the 1979 constitution. At the time, the elections were seen as a means of breaking the deadlock between Fujimori and the traditional political parties, reopen political dialogue and provide an autonomous legislature with oversight powers of the executive and judiciary branches.
Instead, the cramped elections timetable, changing procedural requirements and scarce funding for elections apparatus and candidates have turned the whole process into a mad scramble to voting day. "The slogan of the campaign should be 'Improvisation to Power'," says Lima pollster Manuel Torrado. The OAS has sent a team of 200 observers to monitor the elections, and the State Department has also encouraged other observers to go to Peru.
Because Fujimori holds the political initiative, broad powers to set the playing rules and popular backing, he has cast the elections in his own terms. "Fujimori will do anything in his power to win these elections," says a Lima business executive. The main opposition parties — former president Fernando Belaunde's Popular Action (Acción Popular), novelist Mario Vargas Llosa's Libertad movement and former president Alán García's APRA (American Popular Revolutionary Alliance), as well as the Marxist parties that retain the umbrella of United Left (Izquierda Unida-IU) — have refused to participate. They either foresaw a humiliating loss or thought the Congress would be a Fujimori-controlled rubber stamp.
Referendum on Chaos: The Fujimori government aims to turn the balloting into a referendum on the president's initiatives since the military-backed coup: "Are you with the Chinaman (as Fujimori is popularly known) or against him? Do you want to return to pre-coup chaos and corruption?" Fujimori and allies have saturated the airwaves with advertising that emphasizes all the worst of the pre-coup situation. Fujimori has also actively barnstormed shantytowns and rural communities, giving away computers, trucks, sewing machines and even cash. There have also been accusations that Fujimori's hand-picked lead candidate, Jaime Yoshiyama, 45, has benefitted from using government facilities in his campaign.
In early November, Fujimori stated that he would again disband congress in the case of an unresolved conflict. He has also insisted on future referendums to determine the reinstatement of capital punishment and for lifting the ban on presidential reelection.
Upstart politicians: Among the 18 slates with 80 candidates each, there are no more than a handful of well-known political figures, practically no national organization and an absence of platform, programs and constitutional issues. Aside from New Majority/Change 90, no party or movement has the financial backing, manpower or national organization to challenge Fujimori.
According to the latest nationwide surveys by APOYO and CPI public opinion agencies in early November, the pro-Fujimori alliance has 36-40% of the vote, enough to guarantee a majority in Congress. The closest competitor, the Renovation movement, has 5.5-7.5%. Only six other political movements manage to make a statistically significant showing, but not enough to break out of the pack, much less form a credible opposition movement. The category "void and blank votes," which probably lumps together the vehemently anti-Fujimori block, gets 13-14%.
The other leading category is "undecided or don't know," which hits about 20%. In provinces, beyond the reach of the media, these tendencies are even more accentuated, with up to 40% of the electorate undecided. For the majority of the 10-million-strong electorate, there is no clear idea of why elections have to be held in the first place. Political participation has become a luxury which few people can afford, even Peru's business interests which has underwritten campaigns for decades.
Even though there is little interest in the elections, voters will still go to the polls because they are required by law to vote. An unstamped electoral identification card carries a heavy fine, as well as days of hassle and possible trouble with the police.
Much of the Peruvian public, as well as most foreign governments and international institutions concerned about Peru, have been asking themselves the question "What alternative is there to Fujimori?" and coming up with a negative.
Beyond the context of these elections, Peru has been undergoing major changes since 1988. What seemed to be temporary reversals of fortune due to economic crisis have become permanent scars. These changes undermine many of the fundamental assumptions about economic development, social context and political organization. It was precisely during this period that Sendero expanded its scope and thrust of operations, feeding off the debris of upheaval.
"I have never seen anything like this in my life," says a former diplomat who has followed political developments in Latin America for three decades.
The Inconsequence of Government: For the Peruvian public, the State has become irrelevant, withering to a minimal expression. The Fujimori administration has had to concentrate on macroeconomic policy, tax collection and security, while salvaging what remains of state enterprises for auction to foreign investors. "The country is basically running itself," says former Central Reserve Bank president Richard Webb.
Five years ago, it was inconceivable that Peru could be governed without the backing of a political party to provide the managerial skills, manpower and policy making capacity. Today, the Peruvian state is run by a handful of people, starting with President Alberto Fujimori, his brother and closest collaborator, Santiago. The Finance Minister, Carlos BoloĄa, has a small support team, less than a dozen people, working with him. On security, the shadowy advisor Vlademiro Montesinos provides intelligence support and the Peruvian army gives the muscle to maintain public order. The rest of public administration is run by third-class administrators. FONCODES, the social compensation program which has a top-priority on paper, was unable to spend more than 10% of its budget during the first half of 1992.
Over the past five years, the Peruvian state found itself caught in a pincer movement. A collapse of government revenue meant that it could not cover its basic operating costs, much less make the necessary investments in infrastructure and expanding public services. Today, based on government spending (the Central Reserve Bank), the Peruvian state is 28% of what it was in 1980. On the other flank, Sendero harassed government representatives in the more remote regions, forcing authorities to leave or strike a bargain to coexist with the guerrillas, and destroyed independent organizations in setting up the scafolding for its People's Republic of New Democracy.
Former senator Enrique Bernales recently listed the toll of political violence between 1980 and 1992: 24,732 deaths; 2,728 missing persons; $21 billion in economic losses; 21,304 attacks; 1,475 power pylons knocked down; 50,000 war orphans; 300,000 displaced persons; 6,561,334 "war children" born under the pale of the crisis; 334,000 Peruvians who traveled abroad and did not return; 10,653,311 Peruvians and 26% of national territory under "state of emergency" provisions which truncate human rights.
Fujimori is presiding over a dramatic transformation of the Peruvian State, gutting it of its managerial capacity and policy initiative. While Fujimori's open-market economic strategy is close to making Peru credit worthy for international funding again, it has been accomplished with huge sacrifices, and there seems to be no short-term pay-off. The latest economic figures show that the economy has dipped into another recession, dropping 4.4% this year. The government promises that 1993 will be different.
A New Social Landscape: Beyond the destruction of the Peruvian state, the vast economic changes have altered society profoundly. "People are consumed by the struggle of daily survival," says Jaime Joseph who works with municipal governments and grassroots organizations in Lima's northern neighborhoods.
The Peruvian middle and working classes have been practically wiped out by the crisis. State employees, once the backbone of the middle class and numbering 800,000 strong, earn 15% of what they did in 1988. Only 15% of Lima's workforce is adequately employed, compared to 60% in 1987. In July, private sector employment plummeted 12% from the year before, according to Ministry of Labor figures.
Because of a shrinking job market, Peruvian youth have little chance of building a future. According to a survey carried out by CEDRO in 1991, one out of four Peruvians between the ages of 14 and 24 (representing four million) justified armed insurrection. In rural areas, that figure went up to 32%.
Just as the economic crisis has savaged individuals and households, it has decimated grassroots organizations, like neighborhood, trade union and peasant organizations, which grew over three decades and are dependent on time and resources donated by their members. Most organizations have become life-support systems to distribute food donations. In Lima, there are 7,300 soup kitchens distributing 1.5 million rations a day, according to the latest estimates. This change means that there are few forums for democratic discussion and few effective means of building consensus beyond the local community.
Preliminary reports show that Peru is undergoing a major upheaval of population, with massive migration from the countryside to provincial towns, major cities and Lima, spurred by draught, famine, collapsing Andean agriculture, violence and the withdrawal of public services from marginal areas. This shift throws an additional burden on the already over-stretched public services, non-profit services and job markets. There has been a rise in crime and disorder. Bands of highway robbers and thugs roam large parts of the countryside where SL does not prevail and urban crime is on the rise. Reported crimes have doubled in the past 10 years, even though most people no longer bother to inform the police of most incidents.
This process of disarticulating political organization continues as security risks and cost deter travel within the country and isolate Lima from the provinces. Regions like Cusco are more inward-looking while frontier regions, like Tumbes-Piura (Ecuador), Puno (Bolivia) and Tacna-Moquegua (Chile) become more integrated into the dynamics of their neighboring countries. "Centuries, not miles, seem to separate Lima from provinces," says a grassroots organizer.
"We have to rebuild Peruvian society from the ground up," says Joseph. Most people are far more interested in the January 29 municipal elections than in the November congressional vote, because they see them as having a real impact on their lives, as well as being one of the few democratic forums remaining in the country.
The Debacle of the Political Class: For the past 15 years, a political rule of thumb was that the Peruvian electorate was divided in four equal parts ■ one quarter associated with the middle and upper classes aligned with mainstream parties (PPC, AP and others); one quarter cornered by APRA as Social Democrats with an authoritarian streak; one quarter represented by the Marxist-dominated left with links to trade unions, peasants and intellectuals; and a remaining quarter as a swing group of uncommitted voters. Each of the three options were characterized by a recognizable leadership, clear ideological underpinnings, programs and track records.
Fujimori's 1990 presidential victory and the groundswell of support for the coup was made possible by the disenchantment with national political leadership, the loss of faith in ideologies, the breakdown of effective links between rank and file and their representatives, and an entrenched cynicism about the whole political process. There were three distinct flash points which broke the leaders' capacity to form broader consensus on where Peru should be headed.
First, the Marxist left emerged in the mid-1970s as a major player in politics, both in the national legislature, local governments and in grassroots organizations because it opened up to formerly disenfranchised citizenry. In fact, what came to be called the "popular movement" was a defining trait of modern Peru. In 1988-89, the IU coalition opened its ranks and registered more than 100,000 in the movement. A national convention with 3,000 elected delegates, however, clashed with the contradictions of Marxist-Leninist parties, caudillos with personal ambitions, overheated rhetoric and stunted participation. The sympathizers who had backed IU as an agent of change abandoned IU when its leaders showed themselves cast in the same mold as mainstream politicians. This failure was doubly painful because it hit an entire generation of activists who had come of age politically — and belatedly — under democracy and frustrated a new breed of organizations.
Second, though APRA still remains the strongest (perhaps, only) nationally organized political movement in Peru, it has retreated into isolation after García's five-year fiasco in government, blowing the last chance of avoiding social and economic disaster. During the closing phases of the Garcia administration, "we saw the Apristas steal even the hinges off the doorframes of local offices," said a Puno grassroots leader. Today, 70% of the Lima public believe that García used illicit means to enrich himself while in office, according to a Datum opinion poll.
Third, the Vargas Llosa presidential campaign, which brought together AP, PPC and Liberty movements as well as other political groups, engaged many more middle- and upper-class people in the political process than ever before. These political novices came into close contact with their political stand-ins in the coalition parties and found them wanting. Another unspoken conclusion among Lima's predominantly white, Creole classes was that they would never again mount a political movement capable of winning the backing of the cholo (mixed blood) majority. Today, 90% of businessmen side with Fujimori, rather than one of the traditional parties, according to a recent poll.
In Peru's scrambled political history, the temptation of founding a new political movement has always been present, but with Fujimori having already proven how far an independent can go and traditional parties boycotting participation in the national elections for the Democratic Constituent Congress, it has never made the bet more tempting. By early November, 18 groups had qualified, though that might change because new rulings of the National Election Board or groups pulling out at the last minute. The following list includes only those that have a chance of winning seats because of past performance or showing in voter surveys.
New Majority/Change 90 (Mayoría Nueva/Cambio 90): Former Energy and Mines Minister Jaime Yoshiyama heads the candidate slate of the pro-government coalition. The two groups joined to bolster Fujimori's chances of scoring big in the elections.
Popular Christian Party (Partido Popular Cristiano - PPC): This Social Christian-type party has reserved 60 of its 80-candidate slate for provincial candidates, led by former senator Lourdes Flores Nano, to reverse its image as a Lima-based group and to inject fresh blood into the party.
Solidarity and Democracy (Solidaridad y Democracia - SODE): More a movement of technocrats and opinion makers than a party, SODE has picked up leading moderate left wing activists, like former senator and constitutionalist Enrique Bernales.
Renovation Movement (Movimiento Renovación): As leader of a break-off movement from Vargas Llosa's Libertad, Rafael Rey Rey, a former Lima deputy and Opus Dei member, has tried to steer the course of giving critical support to Fujimori, but remaining politically independent.
Democratic Coordinator (Coordinadora Democrático): Former senator José Barba, an Aprista gadfly and anti-García leader, may get uncommitted Aprista voters.
Independent Moralizer Front (Frente Independiente Moralizador - FIM): Former Lima deputy Fernando Olivera has played off his erratic charisma and popular advocacy to keep in the headlines.
National Workers and Peasants Front (Frente Nacional de Trabajadores y Campesinos - Frenatraca): Based on the Cáceres family's power in Puno and Arequipa, the party has a small, but firm following. Former senator Roger Cáceres is what might be called a compulsive legislator, churning out hundreds of motions and bills.
Democratic Left Movement (Movimiento Democrático de Izquierda - MDI): Former education minister Gloria Helfer heads the candidate slate of what left Peru's progressive movement after breaking with Marxist allies in IU.
Since Sendero's first act of insurrection attacking the balloting place in Chuschi, Ayacucho in 1980, it has concentrated its fire on elections. Government is at its most vulnerable then, with security stretched thin and thousands of election authorities, candidates and campaign workers as potential targets. This tactic aims primarily at urban areas where most voters reside. Bombings or assassination ripple through the political system.
In response to SL's tactics, security forces have found that the most effective means of countering SL's intimidation is to hit at subversive networks weeks and months before the elections so that SL's plans are disrupted. With these elections, the government's counterinsurgency command received a maximum bonus in Guzmán's capture. With SL deprived of its strategic thinker and leader and forced to redraft organization and plans, what remains of the party leadership will be hardpressed to stage a major counterattack.
On voting day, security forces have concentrated on providing protection for 68,000 "voting tables" nation- wide, located mainly in urban schools, community centers, and other public buildings that can provide a security umbrella. SL bands have mainly preyed on those citizens who live away from rural areas and have to travel hours — even days — to cast their ballots.
Although Sendero may not recover in time for the Constituent Congress elections, the municipal elections on January 29 offer an even more tempting target. With more than two thousand provincial and district races for mayor and councilmen in the works, the security problem becomes even more complicated.
The National Directorate Against Terrorism (DINCOTE), the National Intelligence Service (SIN) and army intelligence, each in its own way, have rushed to capitalize on Guzmán's capture. "Vidal has been gradually pulling in the string from his intelligence cache," says Manuel Piqueras, a Peruvian analyst.
DINCOTE scored another major blow by capturing Marta Huatay, a prominent SL leader, in Lima in October. A close Guzmán protegé, Hautay played a high-profile public role in the late 1980s as president of the Association of Democratic Lawyers (Asociación de Abogado Democráticos - AAD), a SL front organization which provided legal defense to SL militants and sympathizers. Since 1989, she went underground because of death threats and assumed responsibility for People's Aid (Socorro Popular), the SL logistical network for supporting the organization.
"Vidal has his hands full," says Lima journalist Mirko Lauer. "With 90-120 SL operatives captured, he does not even know what he has. He is piecing together the puzzle." DINCOTE has hauled in at least nine other major SL leaders, either members of the central committee or regional commanders.
In the shantytowns ringing Lima, Sendero has had to pull back sharply from its most exposed positions. Along the Central Highway, one of SL's main stomping grounds in Lima and where its cadres used to swagger openly through markets, "the ringleaders have disappeared," says a local leader, "and the pointmen in soup kitchens and neighborhood organizations are completely isolated from the population."
Several of these captures have taken place in the provinces. "Many of SL's cadres have never really had any opposition and were caught off guard," says a grassroots organizer.
DINCOTE has also paid a price for its lead role. SL hit squads have killed two officers since the Guzmán capture, including Colonel Manuel Tumba, who participated in the Guzmán raid, but had been transferred to administrative duties recently. The assassinations show that SL hit squads still have the intelligence information to identify prime targets, conduct surveillance, plan and carry out the hit.
On the other hand, in the Central Sierra, there is increased fear that the army is resorting to indiscriminate repression and summary executions. Thirty students have disappeared from the National University of the Center in Huancayo since August. About 17 of them have been found dead, each shot in the head and showing signs of torture, including acid burns and electrocution. According to military sources, the killings were vendettas between Sendero and the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA). Human rights groups say that eyewitness accounts report the students being picked up by security forces in vehicles typically used by the army.
In another disturbing move, intelligence sources released a list of 190 community leaders and activists as suspected Sendero sympathizers, but many turned out to be front-line SL opponents.
According to Carlos Tapia, one of the most knowledgeable sources on Sendero's practices, post-Guzmán Sendero may return to "what it does best" — the rural guerrilla activities which provide the platform to attack the Peruvian state. There were signs in October that Sendero was slipping back into the 1986-88 mode of actions, asserting their dominion over remote strategic areas for their operations, striking at outnumbered security posts and intimidating the population.
In early October, a Sendero guerrilla band, numbering about 100 men, swept down on the community of Huayllao in La Mar province, Ayacucho, 200 miles southeast of Lima. At least 48 people were killed, including nineteen women and seven children.
This was the single bloodiest mass killing in Ayacucho since a SL massacre against the peasant community of Lucanamarca (Ayacucho) for siding with the army in 1983.
The harsh SL action against Huayllao was revenge against the community's support the government's strategy of setting up poorly armed civil militia as a pickets against guerrilla columns. The community had been a militia stronghold and had given refuge to civil defense members fleeing from a coca-growing militia stronghold of the Apurímac valley, which SL had hit in July. Sendero also staged other attacks against the community of Rumi-Rumi and an armed strike in Ayacucho in October. An army convoy was ambushed on the Abancay-Ica highway, killing 11 soldiers and policemen.
Sendero also kept busy in the Huallaga valley, attacking army convoys and settling scores with trafficking organizations which did not pay their "war taxes.""
In Huaraz, 310 kilometers northeast of Lima, a SL band killed an Italian lay missionary, Giuglio Rocca, in October. The Benedictine order, which supported his work, withdrew all staff from the region. The column carried out other killings and terrorized the zone.
The government says that 1,400 guerrillas have turned themselves in under new repentance provisions. However, most of these individuals belonged to the MRTA which is in an advanced state of decomposition. The army struck at the MRTA base camp in San Martin department in northern Peru in mid-November.
In mid-October, President Fujimori announced that Peru would start procedures to withdraw from the San José agreement, a regional treaty on human rights. The treaty, signed in 1969 and ratified in the 1979 Peruvian Constitution, binds Peru not to broaden the application of capital punishment applied to crimes which were not already legislated. In Peru's case, it currently applies only to high treason during war with an foreign power.
However, the Peruvian government has not issued a decree to start the proceedings, notified the Organization of American States or done anything practical towards implementing the decision. According to one Lima source, OAS general secretary Joao Baena Soares phoned Fujimori to threaten the withdrawal of the OAS election monitoring teams if Fujimori proceeded with the idea of holding a referendum on capital elections in the November elections.
Fujimori backed down, instead proposing that the referendum be held during the January 29 municipal elections.
"Fujimori is trying to ride on a popular issue to boost the chances of New Majority/Cambio 90," says Lima journalist Mirko Lauer.
If Peru proceeds with this initiative, it ventures into unknown territory because no nation has ever withdrawn from an OAS treaty, much less a human rights agreement. Peru must give a year's notice before the withdrawal can take effect. The proposed withdrawal from the San José agreement also breaks a long-standing Peruvian international policy position of supporting international conflict resolution and recourse.
The withdrawal would actually put Peru in the same status as the United States, which signed the agreement but did not accept the jurisdiction of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. Peru would still be subject to periodic monitoring from human rights organizations under the OAS and United Nations.
"There would be a political cost because it would isolate Peru from other governments and throw it against the incoming Clinton administration," says a diplomat in Washington.
The debate about instating capital punishment has been smoldering in Peru for a decade. Each time Sendero stepped up bombing activities, assassinations or other harassing actions, the president ■ whether Belaúnde, García or Fujimori — raised the possibility of applying the death penalty, only to let it fizzle in congressional committees. There is public support (about 50% or more) for capital punishment because there is little faith that the hard-core members can be rehabilitated and hatred of SL's tactics.
However, critics question whether capital punishment is a deterrent to a terrorist organization whose members have already shown themselves prepared to give up their lives for the cause.
On October 4, Abimael Guzmán was convicted of terrorism and high treason by a court martial. Within a week, his defense had exhausted all appeals, with the Supreme Court of Military Justice confirming the ruling. The court martial sentenced him to life imprisonment and payment of damages totalling $25 billion. Along with Guzmán, the tribunal convicted the SL national coordinator Zenon Vargas and Elena Iparraguire. Two other military courts in the Andean cities of Puno and Arequipa simultaneously sentenced eight more Senderista leaders to life prison terms and $20 million fines each.
The trial and appeal were shrouded in secrecy. The military tribunal and the appeals court have three members each. The Supreme Council of Military Justice is made of six judges from the three armed services. All judges and prosecutors wore ski masks and signed with numbers instead of names during the hearing to protect their identities, military sources said. However, in the past, Sendero has taken revenge by targeting high-profile figures of institutions, so shielding specific individuals does not prevent SL's intimidation tactics.
No press or outside observers were allowed to witness the trial. The only eyewitness accounts came from defense lawyers. Guzmán's lawyer, Alfredo Crespo, said that he was not given access to prosecution evidence and affidavits and that he only saw his client for a few brief sessions to prepare his defense. Notification of court rulings gave little time, sometimes only hours, to present appeals. During Guzmán's trial, an international group of lawyers led by Heriberto Ocasio, the head of the U.S. Committee to Support the Revolution in Peru (CSRP), arrived in Lima. Peter Erliner (president-elect of the U.S. National Lawyers Guild, but acting on his own initiative), Leonard Weinglass, Martin Heiming of Germany and Anne-Marie Blanchet of France formed the group. However, the government did not permit them to participate in the trial, in part because they were not registered with the Lima bar association.
Guzmán started serving his term on the San Lorenzo Island naval base off the port of Callao. According to new prison regulations, inmates convicted of terrorism must serve the first year of their term in solitary confinement, with two 30-minute family visits per month. They must do forced labor to pay for damages caused by their actions. Other Sendero inmates are held at prisons in Puno and Arequipa.
International reaction: Amnesty International sent a letter to President Fujimori says it was concerned that the conditions and procedures under which Abimael Guzmán was being tried "fell short of international standards for fair trial" because he was not being tried by a competent, independent and impartial tribunal, he had only limited access to his lawyer, and his lawyer was obstructed when attempting to gain access to case records and specific charges faced by his client. Americas Watch also sent a letter to President Fujimori stating its reservations about the court proceedings. In a separate press release, Americas Watch called the trial "a mockery of justice."
In Peru, the government and much of the public reacted indignantly to the international concern for Guzmán's legal rights. Expreso newspaper called international human rights groups' actions an "intrusion in domestic affairs."
The Guzmán trial has also led international human rights advocates to voice their reservations about the sweeping decrees that the Fujimori government has passed since the coup. "Faceless judges" (hidden identity), military tribunals, abbreviated trials and appeals, stiff sentencing which breaks the juridical principle of proportionality (punishment in accordance to the crime) lend themselves to abuses and errors, critics say.
In 1983-84, Peruvian security forces turned Ayacucho into an occupied city and hunted down suspected Sendero sympathizers in house-to-house searches. Almost anything could be incriminating evidence, from a field compass and blue jeans (to the suspicious eye, obvious guerrilla fittings) to red-jacketed cookbooks, and discovery of the "evidence" could mean two weeks detention, torture and possible death. Ayacucho residents glanced at their small private libraries and boxes of old mimeographed tracts painstakingly accumulated over the previous two decades. In self-preservation, many dumped the material in bonfires or the river gorge nearby. In a sense, they were destroying their collective memory of their own involvement, no matter how secondary, in the rise of Sendero out of Ayacucho's hothouse environment of radicalized politics.
Carlos Iván Degregori, an anthropologist who lived there and taught at the university during the 1970s, has rescued a small, but crucial part of this regional history in his book El Surgimiento de Sendero Luminoso: Ayacucho 1969-1979 (The Rise of Sendero Luminoso: Ayacucho) published by the Instituto de Estudios Peruanos in 1990.
Degregori actually focuses on a single, pivotal event in regional history, a student revolt in Huanta and Ayacucho against the military government's move to eliminate free public education for those who did not maintain passing grades in 1969. Peasant protests against the measure became a ground swell of opposition and cost at least 14 lives when the Lima government sent riot police to squash the unrest. Drawing on a set of monographs, pamphlets and other materials, he shows how the events shaped SL's approach to radicalism, local conflicts, antagonism between the region and Lima, even though Guzmán and his followers played minor roles, due to their arrests before the revolt gained momentum.
Two decades later and with Guzmán once again jailed, this book reminds the reader that misunderstanding even ignoring the social and historical context of violence can lead to continued upheaval and even worsen the conditions for solution.
The book, with an updated introduction, will appear in English in autumn 1993 published by the University of North Carolina Press.
Meddling Civilians: For nearly six years, the Peruvian Senate's Comisión Especial de Investigación y Estudio sobre la Violencia y Alternativas de Pacificación (Special Committee for the Investigation and Study of Violence and Pacification Alternatives) was the only government institution that tried to combine rigorous statistical analysis, open dialogue with civilian and military institutions, and the drafting of viable policy options to address the issue of internal defense. Its first publication was Violencia y Pacificación (Lima, Peru: DESCO and Comisión Andina de Juristas, 1989) was followed by two other reports covering 1990 and 1991, published by the Peruvian Senate.
Though the Committee's effort was multi-partisan, it was frequently called the Bernales Commission after its chairman, Senator Enrique Bernales. With the Fujimori coup in April and the disbanding of Congress, Bernales and his staff were deprived of their research material and support. He has set up a research center, Constitución y Sociedad, which is publishing a monthly newsletter, PeruPaz, to continue tracking political violence, pacification efforts and related issues.
In the premiere July issue, a statistical analysis highlighted the significant leap in the average killings per day between 5.44 in 1988 to 8.76 in 1989: "From then on, the [average] stays the same ■ in other words, that though [the government] adopted measures and put in place strategies that should have reversed the tendencies, the statistics demonstrate that the results were nil, since the same tendency prevails in July 1992 as three years ago." In 1990, an election year, an average 9.46 killings per day took place, in 1991, 8.71 killings; and 8.48 in the first seven months of 1992. Contact: Constitución y Sociedad, Los Ibis 138, San Isidro, Lima 27, PERU (phone: 42-1872). An annual 12-issue subscriptions costs $220 in Peru, $260 abroad.
Policy Questions: Donald E. Schulz and Gabriel Marcella, Strategy for Peru: A Political-Military Dialogue (Carlisle Barracks, PA: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College, 1992). A one-day seminar held in June this year following the April 5 presidential coup brought together a diverse group of policy-makers from the State and Defense departments, country experts, and the staff of the Strategic Studies Institute.
The rapporteurs summarized the proceedings "Perhaps more interesting than the participants' points of view were their disagreements" and identified several voids in U.S. policy making: the apparent conflict between counterinsurgency and counternarcotics objectives, between democracy and counterinsurgency, between goals and available resources-capabilities. The debate reflected the difficulty of formulating policy towards Peru: a low standing on the national strategic agenda, congressional constraints and the poor rapport with the Peruvian government.
Contact: Director, Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, PA 17013-5050, phone: (717) 245-3001. Costs: No charge.
Free Chairman Gonzalo!: In the September 27 issue of Revolutionary Worker, the mouthpiece of the Maoist Revolutionary Communist Party, the Revolutionary International Movement, the coordinating group of Maoist organizations allied with SL sounds the alarm: "We must fight for the recognition of Chairman Gonzalo's stature as the leader of the newly emerging state of the Peruvian people. We must demand that the international conventions concerning the treatment of prisoners of war and political prisoners be respected. We must help all of the oppressed and exploited, all who oppose imperialism and reaction, to understand the stakes of this battle, and we must arm them with the truth." Revolutionary Worker also announced a special issue on the "People's War in Peru" (no. 675). Contact: RCP Publications, Box 3486, Merchandise Mart, Chicago, IL 60654, phone: (312) 227-4066, fax: 227- 4497. The International Emergency Committee to Defend the Life of Abimael Guzmán may be reached at CSRP P.O. Box 1246, Berkeley, CA 94701, phone: (410) 644-4170. In London, its address is BCM World to Win, 27 Old Cloucester Street, London WC1N 3XX, United Kingdom, phone-fax: (44-71) 482-0853.
Rarely do the Peruvian armed forces permit active officers to write publicly about the Senderista war. Adm. Jorge Hesse is an exception, both in the detail and clarity with which he addresses the issue. His essay, "The Peruvian Naval Forces in the Struggle Against Subversion and Drug Trafficking in the Amazonian Region of the Ucayali" in TVI Report, Vol. 10, No. 3), belies the stereotyping of the Peruvian military as incapable of generating sophisticated, flexible schemes for counterinsurgency. Hesse was head of naval intelligence and helped redraft the navy's strategy after an inauspicious start in the Ayacucho province of Huanta, where first efforts led to massive human rights abuses.
Hesse emphasizes the need for civilian military cooperation in the struggle against Sendero: The Navy's "doctrine in the battle against subversion and narco-terrorism has been developed with full awareness of the integral nature of this struggle, and the predominance of the political, economic and social domains in all military operations which are carried out. While military forces may not intervene as agents in these primarily civilian areas, they are nevertheless conscious that their support in providing security and collaborating with these activities is vital. Perhaps it is in the political realm of the communities that the most caution must be employed, in order not to infringe upon their rights to the emergence of local leaders. These must be the ones to represent their aspirations and fundamental needs before democratically elected government levels."
Also contained in this issue are five other articles: U.S. State Department analyst Timothy Stater, "Sendero Luminoso's Relentless War;" U.S. journalist Sharon Stevenson, "With Impunity and Injustice for All: The Heart of Peru's Human Rights Problems;" Peruvian political scientist Jose Lizarraga, "Sendero Luminoso: Struggle for Utopia;" Peruvian journalist Gustavo Gorriti, "Latin America's Internal Wars;" and U.S. journalist Michael L. Smith, "Taking the High Ground: Shining Path and the Andes." Contact: TVI Report, P.O. Box 1055, Beverly Hills, CA 90213-9940. (Annual subscriptions $80, $105 overseas, but the issue under review is available for $10).
Established by former atomic scientists in 1945, the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) is a non-profit civic organization concerned with issues of science and society, and international security issues. The Project on Peru seeks greater understanding of Sendero Luminoso's threat to Peru and other countries. FAS President Jeremy J. Stone directs the FAS Fund's Project on Peru. Michael L. Smith edits The Sendero File.
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