Written by Pepe Mejia and published at Socialist Resurgence
Socialist Resurgence urges our readers to sign the statement in defense of Hugo Blanco, an historic activist in the Trotskyist movement in Peru and a longstanding peasant and environmental leader. Sign the statement here.
Intellectuals, social activists, and public officials in Europe and Latin America have expressed their support for Hugo Blanco in the face of attacks by the extreme right in Peru. In less than 48 hours [by June 25], more than 2000 people have signed a manifesto in support of one of the historical leaders of the peasant, Indigenous, and environmental movement in Peru and Latin America, the legendary left-wing political activist Hugo Blanco, who has been vilified, defamed, and reviled by sectors of the far right in the Peruvian army, police force, press and politicians.
Among the signatories are the renowned and prestigious Argentine anthropologist and feminist, Rita Segato; the technical secretary of the Autonomous Territorial Government of the Wampis People, Shapiom Noningo; MEP Miguel Urbán; Uruguayan intellectual Raúl Zibechi; Alberto Acosta, President of the 2007 Ecuador Constituent Assembly; Bo Lindblom, ex-president of the Swedish section of Amnesty International; the current Mayor of Cádiz, José María González Santos; the Asháninca leader, Ketty Marcelo López; and the full Council of the Maya People (Guatemala).
Other signatories included the intellectual, Boaventura de Sousa Santos (Portugal), Maristella Svampa (Argentina), Edgardo Lander (Venezuela), Joan Martinez-Alier (Catalonia, Spain), Alberto Chirif (Peru), Jaime Pastor, political scientist and editor of Viento Sur (Spain), Peruvian congress members Rocío Silva Santisteban, Mirtha Vásquez, Lenin Checco Chauca, former congress members Indira Huilca, María Elena Foronda, Marisa Glave, Rodrigo Arce and Marco Arana, Spanish deputies Gerardo Pisarello and Maria Dantas, deputy Mireia Vehi of the CUP, the former deputies of the Madrid Assembly, Raúl Camargo, Carmen San José and David Llorente from Castilla La Mancha among others, as well as journalist Pepe Mejía, economist and ecosocialist Manuel Garí, Swiss economist Charles-André Udry and writer and UAM lecturer Jorge Riechman.
The manifesto responds to a statement issued by the Association of General Officers and Admirals of Peru (ADOGEN-PERU), an association aligned with the Fujimori coup that dissolved Congress on 5 April 1992. When many high-ranking officers from the Peruvian Armed Forces were accused of corruption, the aforementioned ADOGEN did not issue any condemnation. It also spoke out against the final Report of the Truth Commission, where the involvement of the military in the violation of human rights, disappearances, torture, and extrajudicial executions is verified. Later, when the involvement of high-ranking military officers with drug trafficking was denounced, information endorsed by the United States embassy in Lima, ADOGEN did not issue any press release.
The ADOGEN statement, signed by its president, the Brigadier General, Raúl O’Connor, says: “We express our total indignation and rejection of the documentary sponsored and broadcast by the Ministry of Culture, in which the figure of the guerrilla Hugo Blanco, an individual who murdered and tortured members of the Peruvian National Police and Peruvian peasants, in a clear uprising against the Nation and the rule of law, blatantly violating the Constitution and the laws of the Republic …”
Later, several politicians located on the Peruvian far right, such as Ántero Flores-Aráoz and Javier Villa Stein, expressed their rejection of the documentary and the legendary peasant leader Hugo Blanco. Another far rightist, Luis Giampietri, also condemned “in a categorical way the publication of the propaganda: ‘Hugo Blanco Río Profundo’, a film that under the mask of a documentary apologizes for terrorism and praises the murderous and criminal terrorist Hugo Blanco, who executed and murdered in cold blood courageous members of the police who were fulfilling their constitutional work.”
Luis Alejandro Giampietri Rojas, as vice-admiral and specialist in naval intelligence, demolitions and special operations, participated, on 18 June 1986, in the deaths of more than 300 prisoners. On the island of Fronton, off the coast of Callao, the Blue Pavilion, where the inmates had taken cover, was shot down. Many were crushed to death by the collapse of the building’s heavy walls, but many others were killed by bullets fired by the Marine Corps. In 2006 Giampietri occupied the first vice-presidency with the social democrat Alan García.
In addition to retired military and politicians, far-right journalists have spread defamation against the former senator, deputy, and member of the 1979 Constituent Assembly, Hugo Blanco Galdós, in relation to the documentary “Hubo Blanco: Río Profundo”, directed by Malena Martínez. The documentary, which has won international awards, shows in its official trailer a few words from the Cusco-based leader, where he remarks that “I am completely against terrorism, I believe that people must be convinced with words … now, when a people decides to arm itself to defend itself, it is self-defence.”
The first 2000 signatories in support of Hugo Blanco maintain that: “The undersigned, citizens of Latin America and other continents, repudiate the accusation that, fifty-seven years after the events that raised up the impoverished peasants of the Valle de La Convention and Lares, intends to criminalize and discredit the politician, former deputy, former senator and longstanding activist for the rights of nature. Today, at 86 years old, Hugo Blanco Galdós is considered one of the pioneering leaders of the struggles of agrarian reform, and against the extractivism that pierces the entrails of our territories. ”
“Hugo is an example for his tireless commitment to justice and to the people, be it in Pucallpa, Cajamarca, La Convencion, or Cauca. Also because he is one of the few left-wing leaders who today has been able to take a significant turn, without losing his convictions, towards another struggle: for the environment. Blanco summarizes it relentlessly: before he fought for socialism, today it is about the fight for the survival of the species.”
June 21, 2020: Translated by International Viewpoint from Poder Popular.
An English translation of the statement appears below. Sign the statement here.
In vindication of Hugo Blanco
Concerning the exhibition of the award-winning documentary “Hubo Blanco Río Profundo,” a group of military colluded with a series of former right-wing politicians, together with journalists from virtual publications, have issued some pronouncements naming the former member of the Assembly 1978 constituent, democratically elected by the sovereign people, Hugo Blanco Galdós, as a terrorist and murderer.
The undersigned, citizens of Latin America and other continents, repudiate that accusation that, fifty-seven years after the events that raised the impoverished peasants of the La Convencion Valley and Lares, seek to criminalize and discredit the politician, former deputy, former Senator and persevering activist for the rights of nature. Today, at 86 years old, Hugo Blanco Galdós is considered one of the pioneering leaders for the struggles of agrarian reform, and against extractivism that pierces the bowels of our territories.
Hugo is an example for his tireless commitment to justice and to the people, be it in Pucallpa, Cajamarca, La Convencion, Chiapas or Cauca. Also because he is one of the few leftist leaders who today has been able to take a significant turn, without losing his convictions, towards another fight for protest: for the environment. Blanco summarizes it relentlessly: “Before it was fighting for socialism, today it is about the fight for the survival of the species.”
This life dedicated to the fight for justice, democracy and the defense of Mother Earth has been represented by Malena Martínez in “Hugo Blanco: Rio Profundo.” The award-winning documentary has provoked the unacceptable reaction of certain emblematic characters of the cave-dwelling right, who consolidate in their ranks the harshest of Peruvian authoritarianism, and who fear the example of this son of the Cusco hills, where even today the scream resounds, “Earth or death: we will win.”