Not One Step Back

Peruvians demand Change

Vijay Singh

The Central Committee of the Peruvian Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist) addresses itself to the working class, peasantry, women, youth, students and the Peruvian people in general to support their decision to fight and state the following:

1.   The neoliberal government of Martin Vizcarra was involved in corruption scandals and embezzlement, being the worst government worldwide in managing the health crisis due to which Peru has lost more than 35,106 people up to this time. He was forced to resign from his office as president, being involved in the neoliberal dynamics that support the Political Constitution of 1993. His past with APRA (American Popular Revolutionary Alliance) condemns him and he does not have the moral right to now pass himself off as a democrat and defender of workers' rights. At the beginning of the pandemic he was persecuting doctors and nurses who denounced the precariousness of the health-care system; he used police personnel to allow the destruction of regions by mining companies in Cusco. The Peruvian Communist Party also denounces the fact that, during the quarantine, Martin Vizcarra and his Minister of Economy, María Antonieta Alva Luperdi, made a priority of defending the interests of the bankers and big business owners of the country, who received more than 13% of the national budget. In addition they continued with the extension of the Perfect Suspension of Work, which has increased the degree of informal labour until it approaches 85% of the total Economically Active Population. There was no plan to revive the economy for the popular sectors, and the people continue to suffer from lack of work, access to health care, education, hunger and abandonment.

2.   After the presidential vacancy called by the plenum of the Congress of the Republic, which reached agreements under the table to support the appointment to the presidency of Luis Merino de Lama, the people could see that the first measures of the corrupt politicians who grabbed power were: a new "Police Protection Law No. 31012" that legally supports the license to kill, given to the police and military against people who demonstrate. This new law was signed by Manuel Merino de Lama as President of Congress, Luis Valdez Farías as First Vice President of Congress, having been managed by Pedro Olaechea Álvarez, the former President of Congress (under Pedro Pablo Kuczynski) and Karina Beteta Rubín, former First Vice President of Congress (Fujimorista).

On the other hand, there is the bill (6639/2020-CR) by Congress Member Omar Karim Chehade Moya who, in order to revive the economy of the mine owners and their national figureheads, proposed to further cut the already poor regulations of the National System of Environmental Impact. This will mean new benefits for the mining companies at the expense of the peasant and indigenous communities and the general population that has been abandoned during the quarantine.

"The following voted in favor of ousting the president: 18 Congress Members from Popular Action, 20 from Alianza para el Progreso (Alliance for Progress), 7 from Somos Peru (We Are Peru), 10 from Podemos Peru (Peru We Can), 14 from FREPAP (Agricultural People's front of Peru), 15 from Fuerza Popular (Popular Force), 12 from Unión por el Perú (Union for Peru), 6 from the Broad Front and 3 with no party. This makes a total of 105 Congress Members who, by accelerating the distribution of favours from the new president, led to a new crisis in the country that has led to the murder of two young people and more than 100 injured by pellets and firearms fired by the national police.

3.   Popular outrage has taken to the streets, after 7 months of confinement due to the pandemic. The population has closely followed the national political scene and has matured in terms of its political understanding of what is happening in the country. Entire families, young people and workers have all taken to the streets to reject the compromises of the recently elected Congress and in general the maneuvers of neoliberal politicians. They have wasted time, from the middle of March when the pandemic started until now, debating unimportant things that have in no way solved the problem of employment, access to health care and education for the population. "They must all go!" is the slogan repeated in the streets, along with For a New Constitution and Constituent Assembly, now!

4.   After the deaths caused by the police repression, with the license of the repudiated President Luis Merino de Lama and Prime Minister Antero Flores Araoz, we demand criminal prosecution of the police officers who caused these deaths, their immediate perpetrators and the entire Council of Ministers who tried to impose their interests at the cost of the blood of young people and workers. The Peruvian Communist Party pays tribute to the heroes of national dignity: Inti Sotelo Camargo (24 years old) and Jack Pintado Sanchez (22 years old). For them instead of a minute of silence, a lifetime of combat!

5.   The Party calls on workers, youth and peoples not to lower their guard; the Peeruvians must continue with the mobilisations and convene a Constituent Assembly with broad popular participation to ensure: Free access to education at all levels and not for profit. The right to protest, organization and unionization must be ensured; the State must stop giving subsidies [to the corporations] and take up its role as an investor and administrator to centralize the use of natural resources and start to industrialize the country. This would ensure job stability, the right to housing and would lay the foundations for a true decentralization with a national development plan that prioritizes the autonomous and comprehensive development of the country. Likewise, it must ensure a democratic representation of the Peruvians in Parliament by basing representation on production units and not only by area of residence.

6.   The Peruvian Communist Party demands the lifting of parliamentary immunity of the 68 congress members investigated by the Public Ministry; the current president of Congress Luis Valdez has 52 open investigations, Humberto Acuña has 33 investigations and one sentence for bribery as well as the case of Manuel Merino who has been sentenced for the crime of coercion. In general, the Congress of the Republic has managed to bring together the most disgraceful crimes in the country, from aggravated robbery, through fraud, corruption of officials, physical and psychological abuse, embezzlement, illicit appropriation of funds, non-assistance to family, money laundering and abuse of authority are the characteristics of this nest of criminals.

Not one step back; the protests in the streets and the national outrage are writing the preliminary pages of the new history of Peru!

For a new constitution that lays the foundations of a people's democratic republic, that plans the national economy and ensures the use of our natural resources for sovereign interest and access to health care and education in general at all levels!

For the centralisation of the popular struggle to ensure compliance with the demands in the streets!
All the corrupt ones must go!

For the dead, wounded and missing, not just a minute of silence but a lifetime of combat!

Vol. 53, No. 30, Jan 24 - 30, 2021