WorldThe death of Abimael Guzmán

The death of Abimael Guzmán


Fernando Vicente

The founder of Shining Path, or, as he liked to be called, “the fourth sword of Marxism”, Abimael Guzmán, died on September 11 in Lima prison where he was serving a life sentence. Did he regret in his last minutes the 70,000 deaths caused by the Maoist uprising he provoked in Peru, according to the number that the Truth Commission calculated in terms of the total number of victims it caused? Probably not. He was an Arequipeño from Mollendo, he was 86 years old, he had studied Law and Philosophy, and getting to know China and Mao Tse-tung’s work had transformed his life. So much so that he devoted many years to quietly preparing this revolution that filled the Andean region, the poorest in Peru, with blood and death. His center was the University of Huamanga, in Ayacucho, from where most of his first paintings came; later would come many others, from almost all of Peru.

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It was a revolution that has lasted nearly 12 years since it began in May 1980, and in which there has been everything from cold-blooded murders to blackouts from exploding electricity towers, torture, dogs hanging from poles with an inscription that the senderistas considered ominous (“Ten Siao Ping”), confinements and, above all, corpses of innocents watered everywhere. The mountain peasants initially supported this senseless guerrilla, given the miserable conditions in which they lived and worked, but when Guzmán, faithful in this to Mao’s teachings, who wanted the countryside to take over the cities, banned the Saturday fairs where they sold and made their purchases, turned against him and, in addition to fighting him with the calls ronderos, supported the Army in ambushes and repression. Thus ended these collective killings and the disastrous impoverishment of Peru in the 1980s, when (why hide it?) there was also a dictatorship that murdered many innocents and ransacked public coffers.

Now there is an interesting debate in Peru about what to do with the corpse of Abimael Guzmán: whether to hand it over to his widow, Elena Iparraguirre, who is also serving a prison sentence for being the second in the Shining Path, or to incinerate it to prevent his tomb attracted all extreme leftists to pay his respects. This last hypothesis is safe, so that the Judiciary Branch, or the Government, or the Parliament, which must decide on this matter, already know what to stick to.

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Is the time of revolutions still in force in Latin America? Only fools can think so. Since we achieved independence, we have been warring against each other, or trying to overthrow our governments, which has allowed our Armies to fill up with weapons and feed the dictatorships that emerged from their midst, as well as liquidating tens of thousands of the most generous and generous young people. sacrificed by our countries, so that following this path can only continue producing killings, in addition to sinking us each day deeper into underdevelopment, third-worldism and misery. Perhaps the time has come to take another path, that of countries that are seriously progressing, increasing their standards of living, expanding their industries and with them education and health systems, wages and jobs. This is not impossible. Just look at the example of European countries and, lately, that of Asian countries such as South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore. Looking the other way, in turn, should be enough to see that the famous “revolutions” only brought catastrophes similar to those that Abimael Guzmán produced in Peru. It is true that some of his admirers are now in the Peruvian government and are nothing less than ministers, but the least that can be said of these people, who appear in police records, is that if they follow the model of their admired Guzmán, they will fail so much. or more than he and they will sink Peru a little deeper into disillusionment and misery.

The only “successful” revolution in Latin American history was Fidel Castro’s Cuban and its two satellites, Venezuela and Nicaragua. The sad spectacle that we witnessed a few days ago in almost every village on the island leaves a regrettable impression as to his achievements, which seem to be negligible, while thousands of Cuban families spread across the United States and the rest of the world (here in Spain there are countless ). And what about Venezuela, the potentially richest country in Latin America, perhaps the world, which expelled 5.5 million Venezuelans who were starving? And Nicaragua? To be re-elected once again, the sinister couple who govern this country have sent all their opponents to prison – how easy it is to win elections like that – and the last of their victims, the writer Sergio Ramírez, has just arrived in Spain, where declared: “It’s hard to be 79 and go into exile again.” He is a generous fighter, he has already lived many years in exile fighting the Somoza dictatorship, and once again begins an exile that, hopefully, will not last much longer, as it will, of course, be years of horror and misery for his unfortunate country. .

The big problem in Latin America is corruption, which is focused on ministries and official centers, and which dissuades the best Latin Americans from doing politics, which they see every day with more disgust and disgust. And while the best disdain politics, the worst will deal with it, with the most dreaded consequences. The most serious is the hunger of the majority and the diseases it produces, the lack of work, the poor public education and the excellence of the private sector, which increasingly widens the gap between the poor and the rich. Faced with this, there are no revolutions that have triumphed and that respect freedom, which is essential to nip corruption in the bud and to breathe calmly, knowing that no one will be a victim overnight of the trampling of government arbitrariness.

There are those who trace back five centuries ago the sources of the evil that afflicts Latin America. For example, the president of Mexico, who asked Spain to pay in cash the many millions it would undoubtedly cost to conquer Mexico. The truth is that the primary responsibility for the state of indigenous peoples in Latin America lies with the governments we have had since independence. All of them, without exception, shamefully failed in their obligation to encourage the Indians of Latin America in their modernization and in their system of life. Neither Mexico, nor Guatemala, nor Colombia, nor Peru, nor Bolivia, nor Paraguay did absolutely nothing for the indigenous people who are, as José María Arguedas said, a “class surrounded” by the ingratitude and contempt of the “whites” and “mestizos”, who continued to exploit and marginalize them. So it’s not Spain, which left us this magic of the most prevalent language in the world after English, and which is the best safe-conduct for modernity, but we, the Latin Americans, who are responsible for the sad condition. of indigenous peoples, in all Latin American countries, without a single exception.

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