Overcoming innumerable obstacles and snatching initiative, PLGA fighters and urban action team combatants led by the Western Ghats Special Zonal Committee (WGSZC) of the CPI (Maoist) have opened up a new warfront in the State of Keralam, situated along the South Western coast of India. Their armed propaganda actions targetting the state, corporate and local exploiters, have broken the viel of lies and counterpropaganda of the reactionaries and revisionists and forcefully brought out the politics and rational of the people’s war. Some of these actions were done in broad day light through bold and rapid moves in urban centres, stunning the enemy and enthusing the people. The necessity of taking up arms and advancing the revolutionary war as the true means to seize and secure the rights of the adivasis and other masses over the ‘Land, water and forests’ has been widely propagated through these actions.
This has attracted wide attention among the oppressed masses, particularly the youth. These actions were carried out as part of a Politico-Military Campaign (PMC) carried out over a three month period, from November 2014 till January 2015. The aim of the campaign was to prepare the masses for the revolutionary war, defeat the initiative and aggressiveness of the enemy armed forces and advance the revolutionary movement. In the course of this campaign fighters of the PLGA engaged a section of the Thunderbolts in a firefight and successfully retreated without loss or injury, while throwing the adversary into panicked flight. It is notable that the Thunderbolts are a highly trained and heavily armed force specifically raised by the government of Keralam to suppress the Maoist led armed struggle.
The successful completion of the PMC marks a qualitative turn in the expansion of the people’s war led by the CPI (Maoist) in the country as well as an overcoming of the stagnation faced in the armed struggle initiated in the Western Ghats more than a decade ago in the Malnad region of Karnataka. Facing heavy repression, the party lost 16 of its valiant leaders and fighters, including comrades Saketh Rajan and Rajamouli (Secretaries of Karnataka State Committee) during this period, while striving to sink firm roots and advance the new democratic revolution by rallying the masses. Meanwhile, efforts to initiate the armed struggle in Tamil Nadu and Keralam too failed to get off, suffering grievous losses of comrades who were martyred in enemy attacks.
Reviewing these experiences the party decided to pool all its capacities in the three Southern States and formed the WGSZC. This committee resolved to concentrate its major force at the Trijunction (TJ) of the three States in the Sahyadri mountain range (Western Ghats), while continuing work in Malnad. Accordingly, plans and preparations were made to deploy. The deployment from Malnad to the TJ which began in May 2012 was completed successfully in May 2013 after overcoming many hurdles and enemy encirclement and suppression campaigns. Another beloved comrade and heroic guerilla comrade Yellappa was lost in one attack by the enemy. After reaching the TJ, the interlinking of all squad areas was further delayed due to inclement weather.
It could be completed only by the end of 2013. Soon after the PLGA squads reached the northern tip of TJ in Keralam in February 2013, their presence was exposed. The enemy launched a big military and propaganda offensive. They were aided in this dirty work by turncoats (aptly named ‘exalites’ by the late poet Kunjunnimash, in a play on the ‘naxalite’ tag given to Maoists) who have since long deserted the revolutionary movement. While the enemy spread ‘terror’ stories, the ‘exalites’ complemented them with pontifications on the “improbability of a Maoist led armed struggle in ‘advanced’ Keralam”.
Large scale combing and deployment of forces was done by the Kerala government. Simultaneous combing by Kerala Karnataka Tamil Nadu forces was done in TJ area forests spanning the three States. These developments created some hurdles in carrying out the deployment plans and movement of the PLGA squads. However, it also brought about a new political atmosphere in Kerala. The Maoist movement, particularly the people’s war, became a central topic of discussion, keenly followed by the revolutionary masses. Defeating the moves of the enemy and the anti-propaganda of the turncoats, the party and PLGA were able to counter the enemy offensive politically, successfully complete military tasks and sustain work in the Trijunction.
The PLGA squads went to the toiling masses, practically witnessed the pathetic living conditions of the adivasis, propagated revolutionary politics and necessity of armed struggle and studied the socio-economic condition to some extent. They were shocked to see the utter poverty and backwardness of the adivasi masses in Keralam, which the ruling classes and their trumpeter media boast as the most developed State in the country in terms of human development index.
The assessment of the WGSZC was proved to be correct on the objective condition in TJ and the response from the toiling masses. Both are very conducive to build revolutionary movement, wage armed struggle and build revolutionary army. The enemy’s slanderous propaganda against the revolutionaries really helped them in a sense — the squads were not strangers to the people when they went to their villages as the enemy had already informed them about the Maoists! Relying on the masses, the squads successfully established themselves in the designated areas, built up their networks, carried out reconnaissance and prepared for action against the enemy. The successful preparation and carrying out of the PMC was the outcome of this solid work, carried out in exhaustingly difficult terrain full of steep inclines and braving inhospitable conditions.
During this period one more comrade, Sinoj, was martyred. The area selected by the WGSZC as its main zone of work was, historically, mostly inhabited by fifty odd adivasi tribes engaged in agriculture and herding. Many of them like Paniyar, Adiyer, Kattunayakkas, Kurichyar, Todar, Kotha, Irular, Kurumbas, Sholigar, Jenu Kurubas, Betta Kurubas, and many others are living there for centuries. Being original inhabitants of the forests they enjoyed free use of its land and resources. Many of them were either huntergatherer or practised shifting cultivation. Some were pastoral. The feudal kings/British colonialists/nontribal people from plains invaded this territory, grabbed the land of the adivasis, overturned their tribal way of life and brought them under their rule.
In Wayanad (Keralam), taking its name from ‘Vayal nadu’ (land of paddy fields), they were expelled from their habitats by British colonialism in the process of establishing plantations. A large section among them were forced into bonded labour in the plantations along with dalits brought from other parts of the southern peninsula. Under colonial forest rules and regulations the adivasis were denied rights in the forests. Similarly, in Attappady (Keralam), the indigenous Kurumbar, Mudugar and Irular were reduced to wage labourers, some working for the ganja mafia, due to alienation of lands and restrictions enforced by the forest department. In Nilgiri Tamil Nadu), the Todar, Kotha, Irular, Kurumbar were the original inhabitants.
British colonialists occupied there lands in 19th century to set up military establishments, plantations and summer residences. The tribal communities became labourers in their own land. Nagarahole (Karnataka) was the land of Jenu Kurubas and Betta Kurubas for centuries. By the end of 19th century the British colonialists brought this area under their ownership forcibly evicting the indigenous communities for timber logging. The colonialists enforced many restrictions on the movement of adivasis and banned them from shifting cultivation, collection of forest produce and hunting for their livelihood. After the British, the Indian rulers followed the same policy. A large part of adivasi land has been alienated from them. Acts were adopted to restore these lands, but they remain unimplemented.
Due to the encroachment of their traditional lands, oppression and exploitation by the nontribal exploiters, and eviction from their traditional habitat by the state authorities in the name of various projects, National parks, Wildlife Sanctuaries, Reserve Forests and other Protected Areas (PA), the adivasis in all three States are living in miserable conditions. The tribal people not only lost the land and the sources of their livelihood but also their rights, their dignity and their way of life. Today they work as wage labourers in the estates and in lands owned by nontribals. More than 80 per cent adivasis are landless labourers, 35 per cent are poor peasants having less than two acres. The share of income from cultivation is less than 20 per cent of the total income. More than 70 per cent comes from wage labour and nearly 10 per cent from minor forest produce collection. Even in a State like Keralam, comparatively enjoying better health facilities, death of new born among adivasis is a distressingly regular affair.
On an average 40 to 50 adivasis, mainly women, are murdered in Attapadi alone every year. Their young are forced to work in far off places as household helps. The women are often made a target of sexual depredation. In the Kodagu region, adivasis and dalit landless continue to labour under bondage to feudal landlords.Though an Act has been recently adopted to grant land rights to forest dwellers, its implementation is nominal. Apart from adivasis, dalits are the other major community working in large numbers as labourers. Their condition is not better than that of adivasis. The whole TJ area has a large rural proletariat, agricultural workers and plantation workers. Plantation workers mainly work in big and medium plantations owned by comprador bureaucrat capitalists or the government.
Globalization policies has seriously affected both sections. In plantations, job security was badly affected. Casualisation — the tendency of engaging workers on temporary, badali and contract terms is increasing drastically. Work load has also increased manifold while real wages have decreased. Their housing and other basic amenities remain the same as it was several decades earlier. Agricultural workers, mainly engaged in the small and medium holdings owned by rich and medium peasants, are becoming more and more unemployed or underemployed. The real wage rate is also going down due to continuous inflation. The peasantry consists of three types in the whole area the landless and poor peasants, middle peasants and rich peasants. More and more poor and middle peasants are falling into debt trap; thousands have already committed suicide. The Sahyadri, particularly in Keralam, was also host to large scale inmigration of peasants. This has changed the demography of the whole TJ area.The adivasis were reduced to a minority.
Over 80 per cent of the migrant peasants are poor and middle peasants. They worked hard to transform the hills and forest into fertile land in an unfamiliar territory and hard living condition. Today, their population is over a million. They are mainly engaged in cultivation of commercial crops such as coffee, tea, cardamom, rubber, pepper, banana, fruits and vegetables etc..They are often forced into distress sale of products since their economic conditions prevent them from holding on for better prices. They are squeezed dry by atrocious terms imposed by private and public creditors. Moreover, the prices of these commodities keep swinging wildly since they are ultimately governed by global markets. A series of free trade treaties signed by the Indian government in the past few decades have made matters worse. As a result of all such factors, all sections of the people living in this region – adivasis, dalits, plantation workers, agricultural workers and peasants – face heavy exploitation and oppression at the hands of the state machinery and various exploiters. Thus, there is every reason for the masses to be joyful over the successful deployment and activities of the PLGA in their surroundings.
The Sahyadri range, all the way from its northern end in Gujarat and Maharashtra till its southern tip in Keralam, has been the site of many a popular struggle, both armed and unarmed. In particular, one area of operation of the PLGA in Keralam at present, North Wayanad, has the proud history of fierce resistance to British colonialism during the late 18th and early 19th century. The Kurichya adivasis were major participants in these struggles. Coming closer to the present period, Wayanad was one of the main areas of revolutionary struggles in Keralam inspired by the armed peasant rebellion of Naxalbari. It is also the only district where revolutionary activities have surged ahead again and again overcoming either setbacks due to repression or deviations. Here special mention must be made of comrade Verghese, martyred in 1970, who played a leading role in organising the adivasi bonded peasants against feudal exploitation and went on to lead them in the armed struggle for the seizure of political power.
His memory continues to inspire the oppressed masses throughout Keralam. Keralam has a long history of communist activity and valiant armed struggles led by the communists. When the CPI leadership deviated into revisionism, rank and file comrades in different parts of the State started seeking a way forward. They were attracted to the fierce ideological struggle being waged against Khrushchev revisionism under the leadership of Mao Tsetung. The peals of spring thunder from Naxalbari thus resounded in favourable conditions, and hundreds rallied to the path of protracted people’s war.
Ever since then Maoist led revolutionary activities has been a regular feature of the political scene. A number of heroic armed actions were carried out successfully. Many militant mass struggles were organised. At different periods, youth and students came forward in large numbers to join the revolutionary movement and serve the people. Yet all these efforts did not lead to building a sustained and developing Maoist movement. All throughout these decades, the revolutionary movement was repeatedly derailed by wrong tendencies and rightist deviations.
This was ruptured with in the early 1990s. On the one hand, a section of comrades rebelled against the revisionist line of K. Venu, rejected the theses that conditions in Keralam are not conducive for people’s war and went forward. This initiative would be one of the components forming the Maoist Unity Centre, CPI (ML), along with comrades in Maharashtra, and then later, the CPI (ML) NAXALBARI, uniting with revolutionaries led by the late comrade SA Rawoof. A group of comrades, who had formed a new centre, rebelling against CPI(ML) Jana Shakthi rightist leadership, later merged with this. Meanwhile, sections who were disgusted with the right opportunism of the various ML parties present in Keralam rebelled and joined the CPI (ML) People’s War in the early 1990s, which later merged with the Maoist Communist Centre, India in 2004 to form the CPI (Maoist). They too set out to rubbish the revisionist theses of Keralam’s exclusivity. Both of these initiatives had been working independently towards initiating armed struggle.
Now, following the merger of the CPI (Maoist) and the CPI (ML) NAXALBARI, they have become one. This has played an important role in the successful opening of a new front of the people’s war in Keralam. For the people of Keralam, this is a decisive step towards realising the revolutionary road long blockaded by revisionism. For the Maoist movement in India as a whole, it is the promise of firmly repudiating opportunist theses that deny the validity of the new democratic revolution and the people’s war in regions that are relatively advanced. As such, it is already a rebuttal, in deeds, of the Indian state’s claim to have isolated and restricted the revolutionary movement to Central and Eastern India.
2 CRPF personnel injured in bomb blasts triggered by Naxals
Two CRPF personnel were on Friday injured in separate pressure bomb blasts triggered by Naxals in Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur district, police said. The blasts occurred at separate spots near Fundri village when the paramilitary personnel were conducting anti-Naxal operations under Bhairamgarh police station limits, Bijapur Additional Superintendent of Police Indira Kalyan Elesela said.
The security personnel accidentally came in contact with pressure bombs planted by the Maoists in Fundri hills area that exploded, injuring sub-inspector B B Rai and constable Ravi Hari Patil belonging to 199th battalion of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), he said. Reinforcement was rushed to both the places and the injured personnel were brought to Bijapur district hospital. Later, they were airlifted to Raipur for treatment, he said. A combing operation was underway in the region to nab the culprits, he added.
Jharkhand seeks more fund to modernize police force
Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das today sought more funds from the Centre to modernise the police force in the Naxal-affected state. Taking part in the first meeting of the sub-group of Chief Ministers of Niti Ayog, Das also said that for centrally-sponsored schemes, states should be given the right to take decisions based on local needs and circumstances. “In a state which is affected by extremism, it is very essential to modernize the police force. For this, we should get special assistance from the Centre,” Das said.
Maoists kill two in W Singhbhum
In a shocking naxal-sponsored violence, Maoists killed two youths at a village under Sonua police station area in West Singhbhum late on Wednesday night and injured three persons at Shyamsunderpur in Ghatshila sub-division of East Singhbhum district at the wee hours of Thursday. Those killed in Sonua were identified as Lakhan Bala and Jaimati Borja both residents of Gurdri village and supporters of outlawed PLFI. Sources informed that two supporters of ultra outfit People`s Liberation Front of India (PLFI) were shot dead by CPI (Maoists). West Singhbhum district superintendent of police Michael Raj said that the incident of twin murder took place last night, and the police was informed about the murder today morning.
“As we received the information we sent separate teams of police and paramilitary forces to the spot. As the place of occurrence is located in densely jungle, we expect more inputs related to the murder,” said the SP. Michael said that the rebels had come in different groups of armed rebels and took both Lakhan and Jaimati from their house. They shot dead them and disappeared in dark. The sources said the twin killings have been committed due to extortion of levy from saw-mill owners.
College Katta to Golden Corridor: The story of ‘Maoist’ couple arrested in Pune last year
In Chandrapur, people remember Arun Bhanudas Bhelke (38) and Kanchan Nanaware (31) as influential youth leaders of the Deshbhakti Yuva Manch (DYM), which was later branded as a “front organisation” of the Maoists. Arrested in Pune by the Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) in September 2014, the “Maoist” couple is now lodged in Yerawada jail. The ATS recently filed a chargesheet against them in Shivajinagar court. Background According to the ATS, both Arun and Kanchan are graduates.
Arun’s family lives in a small house in Ambedkar Ward, Ballarsha, in Chandrapur district. His father teaches in a private school, while brother Ajay is an autorickshaw driver and another brother Abhay is a masonry worker. Speaking to The Indian Express, Ajay Bhelke said: “Arun had been fond of singing, oratory since childhood. He did social work, raised voice against injustice through DYM. It is hard to believe he became a Maoist. He left home a few years ago for working in Mumbai, but never returned. He did not contact us. We got to know about his arrest from the media. We did not go to Pune as it needs a lot of money to travel.” Kanchan’s family resides in a plush house in Sarkar Nagar in Chandrapur.
Her father held a senior position in a bank. A family member said she used to remain disturbed as she was suffering from a heart disease. “But she became active after joining DYM during college days. Freedom fighter Bhagat Singh was her ideal… She left home for her movement. We do not maintain any contact with her now. We only focus on the future of her siblings.” A college teacher who knew her said: “Kanchan has a strong willpower and revolutionary thoughts. I still remember her speech in which she said she might not live long because of her illness, but her remaining life is dedicated to the movement.”
Police said Arun allegedly got attracted to Maoist ideology at a young age. He became the president of DYM later. Besides cultural activities and agitations, Arun started the College Katta magazine in 2003, with a tag line, “College kattyavarun krantikade (from college campus to revolution)”. Arun networked with many college students and teachers to write for the magazine sold for Rs 5 per copy.
Odisha cops delaying trial, says top Maoist’s mother
The mother of Donna Keshav Rao alias ‘Azad’, the dreaded Maoist accused in the killing of Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati which triggered off a vicious anti-Christian riots in Odisha’s Kandhamal district in 2008, today made a fervent plea for expediting the trial of her son and others, who are on a fast-unto-death inside the Jharpada jail here. Azad’s mother in front of the Jharpada jail in Bhubaneswar on Friday (Pic: Biswaranjan Mishra)To D Kamaluma, Azad’s mother, circulated a memorandum written by her son and other fellow inmates accusing the state police of deliberately delaying the trial in an effort to keep them inside jail despite a High Court ruling asking for expeditious trial.
“We are not being produced in the court on the plea of security, investigating officers are not appearing in court despite repeated summons and witnesses in the case are not being produced in court – all with the intention of delaying the trial,” the memorandum signed by Azad and six others said. It may be noted that seven hardcore Maoists, including the Azad, are on a fast unto death demanding speedy disposal of their cases since Monday last. Azad, an accused in the VHP leader murder case, had surrendered before Andhra Pradesh Director General of Police (DGP) K Aravinda Rao on May 18, 2011. He carried a reward of Rs 10 lakh on his head at that time. Keshav Rao, who worked as Special Zonal Committee member for Andhra-Orissa Border (AOB), played a major role in the kidnap of an IAS officer in the state. While in AOB, he was also allegedly involved in the attacks on several police stations and killing of police personnel.
…In the other incident, two men attacked three employees of Shivam Road and Infrastructure Pvt Ltd at Machadiha in Ghatshila in East Singhbhum District in the wee hours of March 26, reports The Telegraph. The armed men, who came on a tractor around 1.30am, first fired at Bapi (27), a driver posted at the camp-office. Then, the duo barged into the camp and shot at Anjani Ilu (37), the manager of the company, and attacked Mukesh Kumar (40), a supervisor, with an iron rod. While Bapi sustained the injury in his left arm, Ilu took the bullet in his chest. Mukesh sustained serious head injuries…
..Meanwhile, the State cabinet on March 24 recommended a steep hike in compensation to Maoists who will surrender in Jharkhand, reports The Times of India. Members of CPI-Maoist politburo, special area committee and regional bureau would now get a whopping INR 2.5 million when they surrender, INR 1.3 million more than the Rs 1.2 million that the cabinet had recommended last week. The cabinet revised compensation for CPI-Maoist regional committee members for surrender as well. Earlier, it had recommended INR 700,000 for regional committee member, now they will get INR 1.5 million. Zonal committee members would now get INR 1 million while members of sub-zonal committee will get INR 500,000, cabinet secretary N N Pandey announced on March 24…
Demonstration in Turin against isolation conditions for Marco Mazzasalma, Roberto Morandi and Nadia Lioce imprisoned for the 2002 execution of labor market reform advisor Marco Biagi claimed by the BR.
Via Riscossa Proletaria per il Comunismo
Como no podía ser de otra manera, el proletariado y pueblo del Ecuador han plegado a la campaña internacional en demanda a la libertad de Igor Méndes y demás presos políticos en Brasil. En una sostenida campaña que tuvo tres componentes en tiempo-acción, se realizaron un sinnúmero de pintas y la pega-entrega de miles de hojas volantes y afiches en distintas ciudades del país. Es importante resaltar que en esta campaña participaron de manera activa el Frente Femenino Popular, las organizaciones de estudiantes de la Universidad Técnica de Ibarra y de la Universidad Central en Quito, así como la importante participación de la Brigada “Cleomar Rodrígues de Almeida” que se sumó a esta tarea internacionalista.
Le necesidad de difundir a los pueblos del mundo la falsa ilusión constitucionalista sobre la que se apoya la reformista Dilma Rousseff y la cruenta campaña que viene desplegando no solo contra jóvenes estudiantes que se manifiestan en contra del camino burocrático y la expresiones fascistas del régimen, sino también en contra de la sevicia con la que está obrando el gobierno y el estado persiguiendo, encarcelando y asesinando a los campesinos pobres del Brasil. Manifestamos la firme decisión del proletariado y pueblo del Ecuador de mantenerse en permanente alerta y combate al protervo régimen de Dilma Rousseff quién coludido con el imperialismo y con los regímenes títeres que mimetizados en el falso discurso revolucionario llevan adelante reestructuraciones de los viejos estados para evolucionar las formas de explotación y sometimiento a las masas trabajadoras y oprimidas.
EL PROLETARIADO Y PUEBLO DEL ECUADOR DEMANDA LA INMEDIATA LIBERACIÓN DE LOS PRESOS POLÍTICOS EN BRASIL.
The massive victory of the Aam Admi Party (AAP) in the Delhi elections has brought a curious mix of readings and reactions. While observers note how its success was secured by a huge swell of support from the city’s poor, AAP leaders insist on their ‘all class’ appeal. If at all a class angle is admitted, they hasten to clarify that it is free from ‘class struggle’. The ‘common man’ (aam admi) increasingly takes on the avatar of the savarna middle class in its leaders post election discourse as they dream of positioning it as THE future all India party of the centre. Its concerns are middle class. Its responses and solutions are middle class. Yet it is now tasked with administering a part of the Indian state, which definitely is not middle class.
The wisdom of becoming realistic will in due course stifle the romanticism of that conveniently vague sense of justice belonging to its core, class, constituency and replace it with the hard headed logic of serving the powers that be; the poor be dammed. Secrets coming out from squabbles among its leaders indicate that this won’t be long in coming. This is not the first time this was seen. It certainly won’t be the last either. Even then, AAP’s victory should be taken note of for several reasons. The drubbing given to the BJP has, in its severity, given a new breath to the opposition, both outside and inside that party. Among them, the internal one demands keen notice. We will be seeing the contention of Modi, now ‘secular’, with what is being cleverly posed as fringe elements of the fascist Parivar. Thus, with a lead butcher of minorities himself anointed the protector of ‘secularism’, the terms of discourse itself is being shifted dangerously closer to the Sangh’s core theme of Brahmanic fascism.
AAP’s victory is notable in the total absence of any such awareness among the parliamentary parties, jubilant over the BJP’s defeat and the victory of their version of ‘secularism’. The AAP in fact lends itself to the furthering of the Parivar’s overall designs when it gloats over its apparent success in smothering all dalit, minority, gender dialogues with a single voice, that of a ‘citizenry’. The distance from here to the unifacial Hindu the Parivar seeks to impose is not very far. The AAP is posed and seen by some as alternative politics. Not in the sense of being opposed to the existing parliamentary paradigm, but as a different way of working it out, and thus, as an alternate to revolutionary Maoist politics. It is, at times, characterised as an example of a new type of movement emerging all over the world that is not bent on overthrowing capitalism, but rather seeks to expand its space, to force it to be more inclusive and live up to its foundational promises of ‘equality, fraternity and justice’.
Conveniently forgotten in this idealisation is a minor fact of history — the struggle to realise equality and justice, even on the terms of the capitalist system, extends all the way back to its origins. Universal suffrage, that most hailed attribute of the parliamentary system, is itself a product of such struggle. The space of capitalism has been continuously widened. One may expect even more, even while that space is structured, increasingly, by an all pervasive fascisisation of state and society, now legitimised as necessary to safeguard the ‘freedoms’ of capitalism.
However, despite all those struggles, despite the partial gains achieved over centuries, we live in a world where the richest 1 per cent own 48 per cent of the world’s wealth and 80 per cent have to do with just 5.5; not to speak of the indignity of living out lives under multiple relations of oppression and discrimination. Can we settle for less, when these horrors demand nothing less than a thoroughgoing revolution? Indeed, why settle for less?
People’s March Jan-March 2015
Two PLFI supporters shot dead
Jamshedpur: Two supporters of ultra outfit People’s Liberation Front of India (PLFI) were allegedly shot dead by CPI (Maoists) at Gudri in naxal-affected West Singhbhum district, a senior police officer today said. A police team has rushed to the spot and we are waiting for the details of the incident, said Superintendent of Police, Michael Raj S. Michael Raj said as per the preliminary report, two supporters of PLFI, an ultra outfit, were shot dead by the naxals last night.
Intelligence vacuum hampers operations in Maoist hotbed
Covert intelligence gathering should be the backbone of any security operation but not so in the jungles of Chhattisgarh, large swathes of which are under the control of armed Maoist guerrillas. The sheer physicality of the paramilitary troopers, all of whom are at least 170 cm tall and therefore unable to blend in with the local populace, combined with problems of coordination and connectivity have meant that security forces are fighting left-wing extremists with precious little ground level information. “CRPF has 350 men in intelligence setup at various levels in Chhattisgarh. These people have been recruited from the main force and their height (at least 170 cm) and weight (at least 50 kg) makes them distinct from the local population. They can be identified from a distance. It makes them prone to attack by the Naxals. Hence, they rarely manage to go into territory that matters,” a senior CRPF official in Bastar told dna.
In the absence of a strong intelligence network, the government is unable to prevent incidents such as the Kasalpad ambush in November in which 14 CRPF personnel were killed. A CRPF official termed the operation “foolish” and said it was the “daredevil act of the senior security establishment” which is unaware of ground realities. “The government spends several hundred crores in sending and operating more CRPF battalions in Chhattisgarh. But just a few lakhs are spent on intelligence gathering which is the backbone of any good fighting force,” said another official, privy to the intelligence functioning of the CRPF in Chhattisgarh. Given the restive situation in the state, the government recently approved the deployment of an additional 11 CRPF battalions, translating to about 11,000 more troopers.
Adding to the spectrum of problems for the security forces are the numerous technological challenges. They are, for instance, unable to penetrate or intercept Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) messages and calls on Skype and Viber used by Maoists. According to sources, Google and Yahoo have been approached to provide intercept information. “Yahoo has started sharing information, but Google is still not cooperating,” said an official. At least 5,000 to 7,500 armed Maoists are active in Chhattisgarh, say varying estimates of the state police and CRPF.
The security map used by the CRPF and state intelligence shows most parts of Bastar division as “highly affected or liberated zones” that are almost under the complete control of the Maoists. “The acutely affected areas are the security vacuums in the state. We have no idea what is going on in there. Occasional search operations are all what we are capable of doing in such areas,” said a senior official in the Raipur headquartered state intelligence bureau (SIB), which has around 650 members, including the administrative staff.
Dedicated to Prachanda and Kiran
Rishi Raj Baral
This is the article dedicated to Prachand and Kiran, who are in the position of party reunification. We have taken this article from the archive of The Next Front. Seven years have passed after this bloody massacre. We all know these days Prachanda has made alliance with Madhesi Jana Adhikar Forum, the leading gang of Gaur massacre, and other pro-Indian parties to build a identity politics based constitution. Not only this, one of the criminals of this massacre, Ram Kumar Sharma is the central committee member of UCPN (Maoist) led by Prachanda the traitor.
At the outset, Red salute to our beloved Comrades Pratap and Saroj, Red Salute to the Comrades of Gaur massacre, And ‘Red salute’ to the Comrades of ‘flying birds’. Armed gangsters of so called Madhesi Jana Adhikar Forum, Hindu fundamentalists, Indian criminals ,cadres of Nepali Congress and other Madhes based anti-maoists ,in a ghastly armed attack had massacred 28 Maoist: members of Madhesi Libration Front ( sister organisation of NCP–Maoist), local cadres, YCL members and sympathizers, who had come to attend an open mass meeting organised by Madheshi Liberation Front at Mill open field in Gaur the head quarter of Rautahat district (a district of eastern Tarai close to Indian border).
It was an incident of April 4, 2007. Now four years have passed since then. NCP ( Maoist) has become UNCP( Maoist). The leaders must have forgotten that issue, the bloody massacre. But he people of that region and the family of those victims have not forgotten that massacre. They had lost their beloveds, their sons and daughters. And it is a matter of deep sorrow and a matter of rage that, in the name of party unity, one of the heads of that massacre gang Ram Kumar Sharma is the central committee member of our party UCPN (Maoist), to whom Pushpa Kamal Dahal has welcomed with Abir and Phulmala, i.e. a ceremonial welcome with garlands and traditional red powder.
On Thursday, June 16, 2011, our three main leaders Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda”, Mohan Baidhya ‘Kiran’ and Babu Ram Bhattarai ‘Laldhoj’ landed at Pipra Bhaloiya village of Rautahat district, the district of bloody massacre of 2007. They had reached Rautahat to attend a program in memoriam of the Maoist martyrs, Rit Bahadur Khadka ‘Pratap’ and Kaushal Pandit ‘saroj’. No doubt, these two comrades were brave sons of mother Nepal. Comrade Rit Bahadur Khadka CC member, was a young and a brilliant revolutionary leader of our party, was shot dead during the People’s war, while returning from the CC meeting. It is our liability and duty to remember the people’s heroes.
To attend the program is not a matter of remark or surprise, but it is a surprise that our three leaders of new Nepal landed in Gaur in two choppers. When a huge number of the cadres are facing financial problems, problem of living from hand to mouth, and when a huge number of cadres have no any facility of medical treatment, not even a single Paracetamol, our leaders had chosen a lavish trip by Helicopters. After all, the government has declared this year as the ‘Year of Tourism’ . How comical! When they had landed in Gaur, it was felt as if they were not the same leaders who fought ten years people’s war and lead the people’s war, but mere movie heroes arriving for movie shooting. They landed as visitors not as revolutionary heroes. From Kathamandu, it was six to seven hour drive to Rautahat.
They could have used an aeroplane from Kathamandu to Simara and thereafter a motor car to reach the program spot. What they spoke there is not remarkable but the way, the manner, which they used to go and attend the program is a matter of debate. Since 6 years, Dahal and Bhattarai have been in the same boat and they are habituated doing this sort of lavish display, but what about Baidhya? In the name of martyrs memoriam, was Baidhya trapped or something else? In future Baidhaya should think twice before doing these kinds of acts. Different media have mentioned that Dahal blamed reactionaries for trying to split the party. But we know and every cadre knows, Dahal is the main architect for splitting the party.
His thinking and behavior has brought our party in this complicated position– at the crossroads. To remember the martyrs is not a drama, a role-play. Comrade Rit Bahadur Khadka, was a true comrade of people’s revolution, a comrade of revolutionary enthusiasm. Personally, he was my true and beloved comrade. The memoriam of our martyr was in fact a role-play. Then two hour’s drama was over. Our brave and respectable leaders returned Kathamandu performing a ‘historical’ act. It is noticeable that they did not have any respect and honor for the comrades of Gaur massacre. They did not have any desire and wish to visit that place and meet the family members of the massacred people of April 4, 2007. Were not they martyrs too? Were not they the martyrs to be remembered? In fact they did not have respect and honor for martyrs, they were just going to fulfill the formality. Martyrs are forgotten and the murderers are rewarded. It is a bitter fact of the present situation.
Those who are habituated to stay in air-conditioned rooms would have problem to walk and travel by public vehicles in these days in Tarai region. We are unable to know what was the villager’s impression after their departure. But it can be imagined: people were very depressed. They were remembering the days of People’s War. We have many questions and more comments on this issue. Three persons and two helicopters, what a joke! Was it necessary to have two helicopters? Who will pay the bills? Before this, in the name of Standing Committee’s meeting, they enjoyed rafting on Kosi river and now in the name of memoriam program they enjoyed flying birds.
It demands a reasonable answer. Remember, people want their own heroes, the heroes of the Great People’s War, not new Raja Maharajas. Our leaders have diverted far away from the revolutionary ideal and revolutionary working style. It is not the correct way to remember the great martyrs. After this accident, one question has arisen in my heart : Is there running two line struggle within our party ? Yes, some questions are to be answered, but it is not the time to be depressed. One thing is clear, the revolution will not be deactualized. The people will never be defeated! The battle is not finished. It is right to rebel. The east is red.
1 The International Committee to Support the People’s War in India (ICSPWI) appeals all the forces that refer to it, all the forces of the international support to the PW in India, to give substance to the protracted campaign of international support, with any kind of initiatives, according to the possible and necessary timetable in the situation in different countries.
2 ICSPWI calls to bring the international solidarity to the PW in all the anti-imperialist protests and in the May Day demos.
3 ICSPWI welcomes the advanced efforts made by International Delegation-NO WAR ON THE PEOPLE Of INDIA, whose plans proceed with the necessary pace for a successful implementation. We call again anyone is interested in the Delegation to make himself available, taking the necessary contacts.
4 ICSPWI announces that new important publications will be issued in the next time, which can be an effective tool for the knowledge and development of the strategic value of the support for the PW in the current international situation.
5 ICSPWI convenes a plenary meeting, open to representatives of all the supporting organizations, proposing the of 21 June as date and the Northern Italy as place.
Naxal posters: Three years on, cops still look for clues
Several persons from Pune have been arrested for their alleged Maoist links in the last few years, but investigators have not been able to get any clue about the persons who put up the posters of the banned Naxal outfit Communist Party of India (CPI – Maoist) in the city on March 23, for two consecutive years, in 2012 and 2013. Investigators suspect that underground operatives of CPI-Maoist are active in the city. March 23 is remembered as ‘Shahid Din’ to mark the martyrdom of freedom fighters Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev and the CPI-Maoist marks this day.
The Maoist posters were found at prominent and strategic spots in the city including the entrance of Patrakar Bhavan in Navi Peth, Garware College, S P College, Shramik Bhavan, Swargate junction, Shaniwar Wada, Balgandharva and Shivajinagar court. The posters in 2013 mentioned that the period between March 23 and March 29 should be marked as a “saptah” (week) in support of the movement, demanding rights for “revolutionaries” lodged in jails, on the occasion of martyrdom of “Comrade Shahid Bhagat Singh”. The posters also mentioned six demands regarding the rights that should be given to fellow comrades lodged in jails. Posters found in 2012 called for a bandh and demanded unconditional release of comrades Kobad Ghandy, Vijay, Vikram, Madanlal, Mahesh, Bhanu and Anjela Sontakke.
The state ATS had arrested Angela, alleged secretary of Golden Corridor committee of CPI- Maoists, along with her aides, including Kabir Kala Manch artistes, between April-May 2011, under sections of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). Angela allegedly operated from a house in Paud area of Pune. ATS claimed that the suspects were allegedly spreading the Maoist ideology of armed struggle against the government through their activities among different sections of the society.
While no case was registered for putting up posters in 2012, in the 2013 case, police registered an offense under the Prevention of Defacement of Property Act. CCTV footage from Patrakar Bhavan showed three young men arriving on a motorcycle and putting up posters on March 23, 2013. But the trio have not been identified and traced yet. Police said the Golden Corridor committee of CPI- Maoists is aimed at recruiting youths from urban areas of Pune, Mumbai, Thane, Nashik and Ahmedabad.
After Angela’s arrest, alleged Maoist couple Arun Bhelke and his wife Kanchan Nanaware, both hailing from Chandrapur, were handed over the responsibility of the Golden Corridor committee. The ATS managed to arrest Bhelke and and Kanchan in September 2014. Their interrogation revealed how Maoists were allegedly trying to indoctrinate youths particularly the Dalits, minorities from slum areas and other weaker sections.
Hardcore Naxal arrested in Pakur
Pakur: A hard-core naxal, David Marandi wanted in over half a dozen naxal related incidents, was on Tuesday arrested from Amrapara police station limits in Pakur district, police said. A country-made pistol, a live cartridge, mobile phone and a motorcycle were recovered from his possession, Superintendent of Police, Anup Birtheray said. Marandi was the active member of naxal squad headed by Prabir da and Tala da but remained inactive for sometime in the past, he said adding that Marandi, however, was having links with active naxals and used to work as informer for them. He was involved in over half a dozen naxal related cases including loot of fire arms in Maheshpur, Gopikandar, Kathikund and Amrapara police station area of Dumka and Pakur district. Birtheray said Marandi’s arrest would help police to take action against other Maoists active in the district. He said combing operation in the bordering area of Pakur-Dumka would be intensified following the arrest of Marandi.
…Meanwhile, Bokaro police arrested two Maoists in raids conducted at two different places in Gomia and Petarwar blocks of the district in the past 24 hours. Police have also found Rs 60,000 cash from the possession of one, which is most likely levy money collected by him from the people of the area. SP A Vijaylaxmi said police first arrested Rati Ram Manjhi when he had gone to collect levy from businessmen in Petarwar. He was a resident of Mahuataad area of Gomia. Later, police jointly with CRPF nabbed another Maoist Tulsi Marandi in Mahuataad area.
Angul Police Gears up to Check Maoist Menace
ANGUL: As the Maoists plan to include Angul district in their corridor plan, police administration has geared up to foil their attempt. SP Rajesh Pandit Uttam Rao, who was earlier posted in Maoist-infested Rayagada district, said, “Intelligence inputs mention that the Maoists are planning to make inroads into Angul to make it one of their key corridors to link Kandhamal and Nuapada with Deogarh and beyond. The Red ultras, who used Sambalpur route, now abandoned that area due to the presence of Central forces there.” He called upon the policemen to be extra alert and not give the Maoists any space, said Rao. “The areas under Thakurgarh, Handappa, Chhendipada and Pallahara police limits are most vulnerable as Maoist presence has been established in these pockets in the last few months,” the SP said.
The security forces were engaged in a combat with armed Maoists in hilly areas near Chhendipada last year. Rao said combing operation by special forces is being conducted in sensitive belts to flush out undesired elements and police are on their toes in the wake of this fresh menace. Meanwhile, reports on movement of some armed cadres in Laxmipur forest under Handappa police limits in Sambalpur district are being verified. The area is linked with Satkosia, Hemamura and Batrakhole forests. A year back, some Maoist cadres were spotted by the villagers in this area, he informed.
CRPF Constable Injured in Maoist Bomb Blast in Chhattisgarh
A Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) constable was injured in a pressure bomb blast engineered by Maoists in Chhattisgarh’s insurgency-hit Bijapur district, a senior police official said today. The incident occurred near Mordunda village when a road opening party was working under the Awapalli police station area, Bijapur Additional Superintendent of Police Indira Kalyan Elesela told PTI. The securitymen accidentally treaded on the bomb planted by Maoists which went off between Awapalli and Mordunda injuring constable R B V Giri of CRPF’s 168th battalion, he said. Reinforcements were rushed to the spot while the injured CRPF man is being brought to the Bijapur district hospital for treatment, the ASP said. A combing operation is on in the region, he said.
Shahdeo girls armed to fight Reds
RANCHI: Frequent attacks by Maoists on members of the Shahdeo family, which once ruled erstwhile Chotanagpur and is still one of the richest and landed families here, have brought their women out of their homes to practise sharp shooting so that they too are able to give the rebels a fitting reply, if and when required. These women have mastered the art of shooting now and tales of their valour is on the lips of many village men and women in rural Lohardaga and Latehar. At least 40% women of the Shahdeo family have licensed automatic guns. The bravery of 40-year-old Anita Shahdeo, who has a licensed N P Bore rifle, inspires many in Latehar’s Sikni village. A group of 300-odd Maoists had surrounded her palatial house in Sikni on May 1, 2000 and opened indiscriminate firing.
“Three women and four men were present at home. We thought it was our last day. As the bullets continued non-stop on the house I picked up a rifle and went to the watch tower to retaliate,” Anita recalled. All three women and four men went to different watch towers and opened fire at the Maoists. The encounter continued for around one hour after which the Maoists retreated. At that time Maoists were poorly armed and could not stand in face of bullets coming from all sides. A newly married bahu, Anita was just 25 years old then. “It was too tough for me to put up the fight, but my family members were too precious,” she said. Anita’s husband Lal Ranjan Nath Shahdeo said she has applied for license for a revolver.
“She wants to keep two guns for emergencies,” Ranjan, who was shot at by extremists at his Ranchi residence on May 7, 2013, said. Ranjan’s 20-year-old daughter pursuing MBA at Central University of Jharkhand also shoots, and practises firing with other women at a make-shift firing range in the village. A Maoist’s platoon had attacked 40-year-old Beenu Shahdeo’s SUV in 2006 when she was returning from Lohardaga to Ranchi with her husband. “I aimed my rifle at the extremists while the driver sped away with the car from the Red-hit area. Soon we were beyond the range of their bullets. The need to fire did not arise,” Beenu Shahdeo said. Lal Sanjay Nath Shahdeo from Lohardaga, one of the worst Maoist-hit districts, said:
“In almost every Shahdeo family when the bahu comes, she is taught how to shoot. They see other women of the family operating guns and get used to it.” A daughter-in-law of Ratu Maharaja family, Rachna Shahdeo, said when there is persistent threat to one’s life, there is no option but to learn various nuances of self-defence. The 45-year-old Namrata Shahdeo still shivers when she recalls the fateful night of 2002 when she chased a group of 20-odd Maoists with a rifle in Opa village of Lohardaga.
“I was watching a cricket match when the glass window panes of my house came crashing down. I realized that extremists were hurling bombs at my house. I was alone at home with three little children and my father-in-law. I locked the children in a safe room, gave a rifle to my father-in-law and took one myself. It was dark and visibility was too low to shoot, but blindly I opened fire at the extremists. It frightened them and they fled,” Namrata said. Lal Balmukund Nath Shahdeo, whose two brothers and a nephew were killed by Maoists on Saturday, said: “All women in my family know how to shoot. The district administration should issue arms licenses to them.” Descendent of Ratu Maharaja Jayant Nath Shahdeo said Shahdeo family believes in women empowerment.
BJP leader Ajay Nath Shahdeo finds it shocking that women of this family are forced to take up arms to keep their family safe. “Most of the Shahdeo families have left their palatial houses in Lohardaga due to Maoists. It is impossible for them to spend fearless nights at their palatial homes. They visit their ancestral homes in the day and return to the state capital in the evening.” Congress spokesperson Lal Kishore Nath Shahdeo (also of Shahdeo family) said the valour tales are annoying. “It exposes the condition of law and order in Jharkhand. The government has failed and left women to defend their families,” Kishore said. DGP D K Pandey said the animosity between Shahdeo family and Maoists are over 25 years old. “The police are committed to protecting the family. After Saturday’s incident we have intensified combing operations in the area,” Pandey said.
CPI-Maoist kill Civilian and Policeman in Chhattisgarh
Suspected Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) cadres killed a person, identified as Yalam Abaiya (45), near the Pujaripara area of Anganpalli village in Bijapur District on March 24, reports The Hindu. Separately, the Maoists killed Constable Krishnalal Dhurtlahare in Dantewada District on March 24, reports The Hindu. Elsewhere, suspected Maoists attacked a vehicle carrying rations for Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel posted in Sukma District on March 24 near Burkapal area of the District, reported The Hindu. The Maoists took away the entire rations.
by: Ma. Lorena Barros
In the January 26, l972 issue of the Philippine Collegian, there appeared an article by Ms. Susan G. Ramirez on “Women’s Liberation, MAKIBAKA and Involvement.” The article, which aims to impart greater understanding of women’s liberation and to correct MAKIBAKA’s sectarian nature, certainly shows a highly sectarian prescription of women’s lib and little knowledge of not only MAKIBAKA but radical women in general. The point of the article is that MAKIBAKA’s rejection of the women’s lib line “really means that the difference in the sexes are to be ignored in the practical organizing of women”; that such rejection stems from “both an unwillingness and inability to recognize the inter-relationship of the concrete aspects of our daily lives with their over-all theory”; and that to solve this problem MAKIBAKA should “reconsider their present hostile position to a women’s liberation group, end the sectarian domination of the Quezon Blvd. males, and create the Filipinas’s Women’s Liberation.
There is no doubt that Ms. Ramirez had nothing but the best intentions in writing her critique of Filipino radical women viz-a-viz women’s lib. She correctly points out that “tactically different approaches to the various exploited groups and sexes” should be used in organizing and practical action. Unfortunately, the critique myopically prescribes women’s lib as a tactical approach to “the masses as women” in general – and thus falls prey to the very errors it seeks to correct. To place “masses of women” in a concrete context (even as Ms. Ramirez fails to do so, in her whole article)- For the masses of Filipino women workers (roughly one-third of the working force), would it be correct to raise the tactical slogans, “Fight your male bosses!” or “Company -paid abortions on demand”? No.
The correct tactical slogan would be “Fight company unions and form genuine workers’ unions!” With strong genuine workers’ unions, women workers will be able to exert greater pressure for better working conditions, maternity and other medical assistance, safeguards against unfair labor practices such as sex discrimination, etc. For the masses of Filipino peasant women, would it be correct to raise the tactical slogans “Down with wife-beating husbands!” or even “Maria Clara laos na!”. Correct tactical slogans would be “Reduce rent, abolish usury!” and “organize peasants’ cooperatives!” since the most pressing problems of our sisters in the feudal countryside are excessive rent and usurious practices which leave them with not enough harvest to last till the next crop (would these be what Ms. Ramirez have meant “obstacles to our satisfaction,” the psychical inhibitions of the oppressed female”?)
For the masses of women from the petty bourgeois – and these are apparently Ms. Ramirez “masses of women” – would it be correct to raise the tactical slogans “Down with male chauvinism!” or even “Away with beauty contests”? No. The steeply worsening economic conditions now dictate that the correct tactical slogans for women professionals, students and middle class housewives are “Down with high prices”, “Stop oil price increase!” and “Stop tuition fee hike!”. Only a very small segment of the women of this class can be rallied around women’s lib slogans. MAKIBAKA’s own concrete experience with its first mass actions, the picket against the Bb. Pilipinas contest in l970, showed that petty bourgeois women in the majority are merely amused (the more conservative are faintly shocked) by such slogans. To organize and mobilize them, more imminent (“gutsy” if you prefer) issues must be raised.
At best it might be said that the critique is sectarian. At worst it could be accused of rather irresponsible errors of ignorance. If Ms. Ramirez had taken more time to find out about MAKIBAKA in particular and radical women in general, her article would not have been so fundamentally flawed. Nor would it have been guilty of unnecessary errors such as asserting that “capitalism and imperialism are at the bottom of our exploitation.” Or ignoring the big and ever-increasing number of women activists who, unlike herself, no longer “go home to our very bourgeois personal and family lives” (most having never come from “very bourgeois homes” in the first place) but devote all of their time to the national democratic movement.
And posing really quite silly questions like the six “how many’s, allegedly problems” that affect even the most radical women, how they live and think and what their problems are. She could have avoided (pointless!) “statistics” such as “99.9% of the MAKIBAKA members” “did not understand a socialist (sic.) program overnight.” Perhaps she meant a national democratic program. A cursory reading of the MAKIBAKA programme would give her that information. But then the confusion of national democratic with socialism (re “capitalism and imperialism are at the bottom of our exploitation”) is only one of a number of hopeless confusion in the article, so it is rather understandable. Actually, the answers were there even before she ever thought of asking them. She alleges: “(MAKIBAKA’s attitude) ignores (the fact that) the simple social and personal problems of women have both political as well as economic reasons and ramifications (precisely). Instead they are simply considered as non-political irrelevancies. To quote some excerpts from the MAKIBAKA programme: MAKIBAKA seeks nationalist industrialization and genuine land reform in order to create a vigorous national economy.
Only a vigorous national economy can provide the conditions necessary for the eventual elimination of poverty, unemployment, underemployment, unfair labor practices, inadequate health services and other inequities in our semi-feudal, and semi-colonial economy. Moreover, only in such an economy can there be greater opportunities for Filipino women, who have long been suffering from discriminatory wages and labor practices. Moreover, MAKIBAKA is determined to work for the liberation of women from decadent bourgeois and feudal shackles which condemn them to an existence geared only to the bed-kitchen-church-nursery circle, denying them the opportunity to develop into more than domestic machines and sexual objects, to contribute their potential for the huge task of nation-building and socialist construction.
She need not have resorted to completely meaningless terms as “higher politics” (it quite taxes our minds to conceive of a “lower politics!) and “relating”. Perhaps she meant, to again quote from the programme: MAKIBAKA shall work for the integration of women students and professionals with workers and peasants (among other things) through involvement in community and relief work. With some more research on Cuba and the Cuban revolution, Ms. Ramirez might also have refrained from quoting Castro as if her were an authority on revolution., The Cuban peasant precisely because he did not know “Marxist-Leninist jingles” is today still very much the sugar-growing peasant he was before Fidel Castro’s revolution, and must begin to wage another long, arduous struggle to overthrow his new oppressors and their social-imperialist masters. The Cuban peasant’s present condition is in glaring contrast to that of his Chinese brethren, of whom reactionaries must speak in a grudgingly respectful manner. Not incidentally Cuban women are still subject to the most anti-feminist antics of the Latin American male.