IEC Statement on 5th Anniversary of Dr. Guzmán's Cage Speech

Revolutionary Worker #926, October 5, 1997

We received this statement from the International Emergency Committee to Defend the Life of Dr. Abimael Guzmán (IEC):

This September, five years after his arrest, Dr. Abimael Guzmán (also known as Chairman Gonzalo of the Communist Party of Peru) is still in isolation.

Dr. Guzmán was sentenced by a "faceless" military court to life imprisonment, to begin with one year solitary confinement which was itself a violation of international treaties. Peru's Prosecuting Attorney stated he would begin receiving visitors on 12 September 1993. But instead, every request made by his lawyers to visit him has been turned down. His conditions of imprisonment, according to statements by various Peruvian officials, including President Fujimori himself, are tantamount to blatant torture designed to inflict slow death.

On 24 September 1992, shortly after his capture, the regime attempted to humiliate Dr Guzmán by presenting him to the international press in a cage. Instead Dr. Guzmán delivered a powerful speech calling for the continuation of the People's War and characterising his arrest as "merely a bend in the road" on the long march to victory. Despite the difficulties and temporary setbacks characteristic of any genuine revolutionary movement aiming to overthrow the yoke of imperialism and reaction, events in Peru since his capture and the cage speech are testimony to the correctness of his basic stand.

The continuing isolation inflicted on Dr. Guzmán today is revenge for his role in leading the People's War for 12 years and taking a courageous and defiant stand in his famous speech from the cage. His treatment has also set an ugly precedent for the military trials and vicious repression handed out to the hundreds of other political prisoners who languish in Peru's dungeons.

The People's War continues under the leadership of the Communist Party of Peru and has won the support and admiration of progressive and revolutionary-minded people around the world.

The IEC on this occasion pledges to continue its work to popularise the revolutionary movement of the downtrodden in Peru, bring to light the plight of the political prisoners there, and in particular to break the isolation of Dr. Guzmán.

September 1997

Contact the IEC at:
Old Gloucester Street, London WC1N 3XX, U.K. Fax/Phone 44-171-4820853

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