by John Bart Gerald, published on NightsLantern, January 17, 2023
The Peruvian Prosecutor’s Office has placed she who claims the country’s presidency, Dina Bolurate under investigation for crimes including genocide, resulting from her government’s treatment of protesters who prefer the elected President Pedro Castillo. Now much of her government is under investigation for genocide (“genocide, qualified homicide and serious injuries” ): Alberto Otarola (the prime minister who just resigned), minister of defense Jorge Chavez, minister of the interior Victor Rojas, a previous prime minister Pedro Angulo and previous Minister of the Interior Cesar Cervantes. (1)
How did this happen? An intractable well entrenched right wing Congress impeded the people’s elected President’s agenda, brought charges against him and his appointees for corruption and tried three time to impeach him. To forestall an impeachment attempt Pedro Castillo dissolved the Congress, as allowed by Peruvian law. Publicly unverified reports may establish a meeting between the U.S. Ambassador (a former CIA agent) and Peru’s Minister of Defense (2) who threw his support instead to the right-wing Congress: Castillo was displaced on Dec. 7, 2022. Immediately the U.S., Canada, European Union, supported as Peru’s president, Dina Bolurate, Castillo’s vice-president. Bolivia, Argentina, Mexico, Venezuela, Columbia among others supported President Pedro Castillo.
As of January 15th Security forces murdered about 50 protesters, including the victims of the Ayacucho massacre (Dec. 15, 2022) and Juliaca massacre (Jan. 9, 2023), in military actions by police and armed forces against Indigenous peoples, mestizos, workers who seem to be without weapons.
Displaced president Castillo is in prison, accused of attempting to overthrow the democratic process with a coup. Castillo, Indigenous, was a teacher, a union leader, a Marxist, elected in 2021 by a small majority in a race against Keiko Fujimori who wouldn’t concede defeat.
Keiko Fujimori’s forces included an entrenched Fujimori political machine and the extreme right wing. She enjoyed the support of the current U.S. Ambassador and U.S. literati favorite, the nobelist Vargas Llosa. Keiko Fujimori assured supporters her primary mission if elected was to free her father, former president Alberto Fujimori, serving extended prison sentences for human rights crimes such as murder, kidnapping etc., and embezzlement, bribery, corruption. In 2017 the elder Fujimori was pardoned by then President of Peru Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, in exchange for support in Peru’s Congress to further Kuczynski’s political agenda. The pardon was overturned by Peru’s Supreme Court in 2018 and Fujimori re-imprisoned.
Allegations of genocide accompanied Fujimori the father’s near extermination of the largely Indigenous/mestizo Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso), as well as his programs of sterilizing Indian women and men without their informed consent. Fujimori’s victories were assured by application of ruthless military force. Victims of his domestic policies were most often mestizo or Indigenous peoples but most of the military was equally mestizo and Indigenous so the huge numbers of fatalities of Shining Path adherents couldn’t be ethnically or racially differentiated from military casualties, unless one supposed a genocide of the Indigenous related population by setting one part against the other.
Through crimes of atrocity Fujimori the father gathered extremist support which remained an element of control through fear by Peru’s privileged elite. It was not surprising that as soon as Castillo took office he and his appointees came under attack from the elite’s attorneys, usually with charges of corruption. His platform for election included promises to redistribute Peru’s mining resources.
The Parliament which serves right wing corporate interests began a series of impeachment attempts. After Fujimori’s total war on the Shining Path anyone resisting fascism became a “terrorist.” The workers / protesters recently murdered by Security forces were described on police records as “terrorists.” (3)
In a sense this story is the familiar destabilization and takeover of a non-NATO country by the CIA. Like corporate programs, CIA policies seem not to be limited by one administration or another or time-reliant on individual leadership, but endure in waiting until applicable.
However since inception of such takeovers the world has changed.
In Venezuela of 2002, President Hugo Chávez was displaced by a parliamentary coup of the Euro-privileged – those who serve corporate interest, yet was re-instated by the people because of his strong identification with the people’s interests, mestizo, Euro, Indigenous, Black – workers. His chosen successor Nicolás Maduro has remained in power as the elected President despite the unsuccessful attempt by the U.S.,Canada, the U.K etc. to replace him with their puppet, Juan Guaidó, in a putsch which attempted the theft of a portion of Venezuela’s gold reserves.
In Guatemala the former dictator – U.S. and Israel supported Efraín Ríos Montt was convicted of genocide in 2013 for his mangement of the dirty war against the Indigenous people / workers, a judicial decision vacated by the elite’s corruption of the judicial system and challenged until his death.
In 2019 the President of Bolivia, Evo Morales (Indigenous) was replaced by the well-honed manipulative politics of Jeanine Ãñez a Senator backed by the U.S. and the country’s elite. Currently she serves 10 years in prison convicted of crimes against the state for her part in the coup.
In Brazil, 2022, a Trumpian coup by supporters of former fascist President Jair Bolsonaru was squashed by the legitimate government of socialist President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
Leftists, socialist leaders, Indigenous allied leaders, are challenged by capitalist usually racist interests. Generally the poor, the workers, the majority are largely Indigenous or of mixed blood, so the European oriented elite’s control risks falling under the caveats of the Convention on Genocide.
Concerning Canada, in 2022 Pope Francis publicly understood Canadian historical treatment of First Peoples as a genocide. And the House of Commons found the Residential Schools Program to have been a genocide – the government’s initial attempts to classify its treatment of the children as victims of “cultural genocide” gives way to a people’s recognition of “genocide.” The issue of “genocide” as applied to contemporary treatment of some First People’s tribes, has not reached the courts. In Canada application of the Convention is ultimately at the discretion of the Minister of Justice.
By 2023 we live in a world where European colonialism was called to account in the 1960’s with the liberation struggles of Africa. North America’s disappearance of for instance 6 million Indians in lands which became the USA is increasingly recognized as a genocide rather than a conquest or settlement of uninhabited regions. A different mindset evolves in our understanding of history and of genocide.. Covert programs of taking over nations of basically Indigenous peoples by replacing their leaders with puppets of the Euro-elite becomes genocidal.
Points to consider:
One of the first acts proposed under Peru’s right wing Congress after it ousted President Castillo was to strip the Amazon’s uncontacted tribes of land areas reserved for them, to deny them protection and safety on lands sought by resource extractors. (4) The legislation gives evidence of a clear intent to destroy a racial. ethnic group.
The allegations of genocide which became an issue during Fujimori’s attempts to extinguish the flame of Sendero Luminoso – the Shining Path, and the clarity of his efforts to sacrifice the Indigenous related population by advancing U.S. and U.N. sourced birth control programs on native peoples without their informed consent, become more easy to prove. Attempts to charge Fujimori the father with genocide for these crimes appeared and disappeared for twenty-five years and remain unadjudicated, signifying extreme opposition to application of the Convention itself in Peru, to politicians on the far-right or in mafia-like political families. On January 11, 2021, the most recent attempt to hold a hearing on the forced sterilization of several hundred thousand Peruvian women and directly accusing Fujimorri the elder, his health ministers and various doctors, was closed after an hour due to the court’s inability to translate all twelve of the dialects spoken by native Quechua witnesses. (5)
On January 17th 2023 people from all through Peru attempted to march together in Lima to express the will of the Four Nations (not the British four nations but those derived from the ancient nations of the Inca empire): remove Dina Bolurate from 0ffice and free Pedro Castillo from prison. (6). To begin with…. There is momentum throughout Peru to counter the coup by Peru’s Congress and reinstate Pedro Castillo as the people’s elected President.
The crime of Genocide has no statute of limitations. Aspects of the crime are cumulative. The successes of genocide’s perpetrators become evidence of guilt which the judicial systems of the Americas are likely to confront as they gain control of their own resources. This is likely to be accompanied by the increasing political power of Indigenous peoples and their rights to resource land. It’s to the interest of Peru’s privileged to assure just representation to the Peruvian people.
“Allegations of Genocide Return to Peru”
by John Bart Gerald
graphic by Julie Maas
Posted: nightslantern.ca, January 17, 2023