By Monica Ruiz
With a green light from Washington, the Alberto Fujimori regime in Peru massacred 15 Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA) commandos and one hostage on April 22.
Some 150 soldiers stormed the Japanese ambassador's house- -captured by the MRTA last Dec. 17--shooting and then bombing the building several times as martial music played in the backround. Fujimori's promises not to end the standoff by force--and MRTA efforts to reach a negotiated settlement--were drowned in blood.
The military assault on the compound was clearly organized, supported and approved by the U.S. government. ABC News Nightline reported April 22 that U.S. Army Special Forces had planned the attack and trained the Peruvian soldiers. But they made sure no U.S. forces were among those entering the compound. Both ABC and CNN reported that U.S.- supplied Israeli forces were also involved.
Shortly after the MRTA successfully took over the residence in December, the Pentagon sent a team of security advisers and a special Delta Force commando to Lima. It also supplied high-tech surveillance equipment. Washington is Peru's largest source of economic and military aid.
)From the beginning, the Clinton administration took the position that the Fujimori government should not negotiate with the rebels. The day before the military assault, U.S. Ambassador to Peru Dennis Jett, referring to the MRTA rebels inside the compound, said, "There are 15 in there who have to worry about the tactics of their leaders and what that will mean when the moment comes, if they are ready to give their lives."
Immediately after the massacre the U.S. State Department issued a statement saying "the rebels are fully responsible" for the violent end of the standoff. State Department spokesperson Nicholas Burns also said that the MRTA demand to release 400 political prisoners from Peru's prisons was "unacceptable."
The MRTA had captured the Japanese ambassador's residence, along with hundreds of wealthy and well-connected party goers, to call attention to the poverty and misery of the Peruvian majority and to demand the release of 400 MRTA political prisoners.
After this murderous assault, the progressive movement around the world should be vigilant against further repression by Fujimori's regime against the political prisoners and the revolutionary movement in Peru--especially against the MRTA and the Peruvian Communist Party.
The world working-class movement and the movement for liberation from misery and oppression in Peru will always remember these fallen comrades. As with the 1871 Paris Communards who, as Karl Marx wrote, "stormed heaven," the blood of these martyrs will give rise to thousands of new fighters against U.S.-backed oppression.
This movement--based in the working class and involving the millions of poor and indigenous peasants--will not only remember their lives but will also remember their deaths and the faces and names of those who ordered their execution.
Via Workers World News Service
Workers World Service
24 Apr 1997
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Reprinted from the May 1, 1997
issue of Workers World newspaper
Via Workers World News Service