The following statement, “Long Live the Milestone of Mass Heroism Achieved by the Joint Struggle of the Prisoners of War May 6th-7th-8th-9th”, was issued May 14th. It carries the signature of the surviving men prisoners of war still held in Lima’s Canto Grande prison. – AWTW
Blood does not drown the revolution but irrigates it.
To the Peruvian proletariat and people, to the international proletariat and the peoples of the world: we prisoners of war in the shining trench of combat 4-B (men’s cellblock) in the Canto Grande fascist concentration camp, with deep class hatred, denounce the evil, monstrous and despicable genocide perpetrated on May 6th to 9th. The reactionary government of the genocidal national traitor Fujimori and his genocidal armed forces and police attacked the 131 women prisoners of war in cellblock 1-A and 403 men prisoners of war in cellblock 4-B. They murdered more than forty and wounded almost a hundred people. The genocidal national traitor Fujimori had been scheming and plotting for months, following the orders of his master, Yankee imperialism.
They hatched a reactionary propaganda campaign against us. They claimed that we had weapons and tunnels and that we had to be made to respect their “principle of authority”. In an attempt to create public opinion for a massacre, a new genocide, Fujimori issued clearly fascist rules and laws and had the army take over the prison. We prisoners of war denounced and vigourously exposed this campaign. These heroic acts by the prisoners, along with our families and lawyers, held back Fujimori’s murderous hand.
We forced them to sign an agreement, and to carry out an inspection of our cellblocks in the presence of representatives of the International Red Cross, government authorities and the genocidal prison director Colonel Cajahuanca and over twenty of his senior and junior officers on April 13th-14th. This showed that our position and demands were completely just and derailed the reactionary campaign against us. These facts were reaffirmed at the end of April by the inspection carried out by representatives of the International Human Rights Commission of the Organization of American States. We had invited them to visit our cellblocks and the surrounding areas, and submitted a document demanding that we be recognized as prisoners of war and denouncing the genocidal plan the genocidal national traitor Fujimori was already cooking up.
In a clear violation of the agreements they themselves had signed, on May 6th, 1992, at 4:30 in the morning over 500 genocidal troops of the “elite” corps of the Armed Forces and police attacked cellblock 1-A with all kinds of weapons – rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, hand grenades, dynamite satchels and plastic explosives, along with rockets launched from a helicopter gunship. They sought to destroy the cellblock and exterminate all 131 women prisoners of war, as well as the 24 men prisoners who, due to overcrowding in 4-B, were housed in the first room on the first floor of 1-A with the full knowledge and authorization of the genocidal prison director Colonel Cajahuanca. The brutal attack lasted 22 hours. Although they demolished part of the building, their efforts met with complete failure.
This exposed the real character of what they claimed was simply an attempt to move the women prisoners of war to the Santa Monica prison – a clumsy excuse which they didn’t even bother to tell us about until long afterwards, let alone notify us ahead of time. This pretext was used by a prison official named Mirta Campos to justify and vindicate the genocide. Blinded by genocidal fury and humiliated by the defeat they suffered on May 6th, when the women prisoners of war moved to cellblock 4-B, Fujimori mobilized over a thousand army troops and special police assault forces. No order was too evil for this little low-life dog to issue. They used bazookas, a large artillery piece and two smaller cannons, hundreds of explosive charges and thousands of bullets and grenades, sniper rifles, a tank, helicopters and hundreds of armoured personnel carriers in their “final assault” against cellblock 4-B. This is how they hoped to reassert their “principle of authority” – with gunfire and bloodshed.
All day long on the 7th and intensifying on the 8th and 9th, they demolished the cellblock floor by floor, using artillery, gunfire from a safe distance and machine guns positioned on the rooftops and in the windows of the other buildings. They categorically rejected our first demand, the establishment of a commission, to include representatives of the International Red Cross, the OAS Human Rights Commission and our relatives and lawyers, which would oversee the transfer of the women prisoners of war from 1-A, as well as guarantee the lives of the men prisoners of war and ensure the immediate withdrawal of the wounded. We also agreed that if these guarantees were met they could inspect cellblock 4-B before the transfer. They also totally rejected our second demand, that representatives of the International Red Cross at least be present. They cynically violated the agreement signed at 6 pm May 8th by our delegates, Mirta Campos and police commanders. As our delegates were returning – they had left at 2:30 pm and won a promise to request the presence of the International Red Cross – they were seized and beaten. A group of 31 sick and seriously wounded prisoners (men and women) who left cellblock 4-B at 6:30 pm got barely ten meters before they were stopped. A third group of ten prisoners of war were seized and thrown in with the wounded as hostages.
The authorities doused them with kerosene, held back the common prisoners who tried to come to their aid and threatened to shoot them immediately if the other prisoners did not surrender. This boundless cruelty towards the wounded reveals that they were following a premeditated plan to exterminate us. Their hypocritical promises to “respect” our lives, broadcast over loudspeakers, were accompanied by ever more deadly explosive charges and barrages of rifle fire against cellblock 4-B. But their vicious efforts to capture the cellblock and impose a so-called “surrender” failed completely again and again, until the end, in the face of our unbreakable, heroic and growing resistance. At 6 pm on Saturday May 9th the women and men prisoners of war summed up that we had fully accomplished the aims of our heroic resistance. We shouted that we were going to come out, and we marched out, arms linked, singing The Internationale.
The cowardly, genocidal beasts singled out certain prisoners of war leaving the cellblock and shot them. Among these people’s heroes who fell heroically in the prison rotunda, defending the morale of the class amidst machine-gun fire, were Hugo Juárez Cruzat, Yovanka Pardavé, Tito Valle Travesaño and Elvia Zanabria Pachecho. Janet Talavera fell near cellblock 1-A. Other prisoners were shot near cellblock 7-B and even near the door leading out of the garrison. The bloodthirsty beasts ran around frantically with a list of names, trying to identify suspected leaders or commanders. They tortured and murdered the people’s heroes Noemi Romero Mejía, Andrés Agüero Garmendi, Rubén Constantino Chihuán, Julia Marlene Olivos Peña, Wilfredo Gutiérrez Véliz and others.
Some, like Marcos Wilfredo Azaña, were seen alive on Sunday the 10th. They were held, tortured and finally murdered. With their heroism, fighting spirit and courage, these men and women prisoners of war carried our vow of heroic resistance through to the end. They achieved a great milestone of mass heroism in the joint struggle and achieved a new and higher moral, military and political victory for Chairman Gonzalo, the Party and the revolution, a concrete expression of the strategic equilibrium increasingly shaking the country and of the advancing people’s war led by the Communist Party of Peru and brilliantly headed by Chairman Gonzalo. Today, in its twelfth year, the people’s war is advancing irresistibly and coming ever closer to the achievement of our immediate goal: the seizure of political power nationwide, on the road to communism. These prisoners dealt a powerful moral, military and political blow to genocidal national traitor Fujimori’s reactionary government and his genocidal Armed Forces and police.
Following the example of our beloved and always-remembered Comrade Norah and the heroes of our people, we prisoners of war in this shining trench of combat reaffirm our unshakable determination to continue our heroic resistance under new conditions and our resolute vow to offer our lives, today, tomorrow and forever, to Chairman Gonzalo, the Party, the revolution and communism. Our Chairman Gonzalo has trained and steeled us more than ever to defy death and snatch from it the laurels of victory, to carry our lives on our fingertips. We are willing to offer our lives whenever the revolution may need them.
With deep class feeling, we surviving prisoners of war repeat the vow all of us took May 8th, 1992: “For our Chairman Gonzalo, for Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, Gonzalo Thought, for the Party, the class, our people and the international proletariat and the peoples of the world… we will wage heroic resistance and defeat this genocidal extermination. We will not fail you. We will shoulder our responsibility to history. Our allegiance is to Chairman Gonzalo, the Party and the revolution and nothing and nobody can stop us. Victory is ours. It is inevitable because we have the leadership of our Chairman Gonzalo and we are armed with invincible Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, Gonzalo Thought. Our victory is inevitable, and the only choice that faces us is to struggle or to die, blood-soaked struggle or nothing.”
Long Live Chairman Gonzalo!
Long Live Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, Gonzalo Thought!
Long Live the Communist Party of Peru!
Long Live the Twelfth Anniversary of the Victoriously Advancing People’s War!
Long Live Strategic Equilibrium!
Let Strategic Equilibrium Shake the Country Even More!
Long Live This Great Milestone of Mass Heroism Achieved by the Joint Struggle of the Prisoners of War May 6-9th!
Glory to the Fallen Heroes, Long Live the Revolution!
The People Alone Will Judge and Punish the Genocidal Murderers!
Our Decision: Heroic Resistance!
Our Vow: To Give Our Lives for the Party and the Revolution!