Perú: once more, the reformist left in its labyrinth

A sharp debate crosses the currents of the left in Peru these days. September´s mobilizations unleashed a new process, dealing Fujimori and the APR a hard blow and questioning all institutions and the regime as a whole.

The closure of parliament and the call for early elections to elect new representatives have been perceived as a clear victory of popular and democratic sectors.

This crisis «up top» occurs simultaneously with the continuity of the resistance in the South of Peru to the installation of the «Tía María» project, a struggle that has been going on for over 8 years, during which the different governments have not been able to impose Southern Copper´s plans to extract copper, which would cause a widespread destruction of livestock agricultural production.

This same week, the Federation of Mining Workers of Peru, announced a strike for Wednesday November 27 to resist the labor reforms proposed by the sector´s employers.

Teachers´ unions also discussed a plan of struggle, and feminist mobilizations have reached a magnitude that was unimaginable just a couple of years ago.

New Peru, not like this

This situation, in which nothing will be as it was, obliges the Peruvian left, especially the New Peru Movement, headed by Verónica Mendoza, to respond according to the process, mainly due to the reasonable expectations that she has generated in sectors from of the left and so-called progressives.

However, their latest steps do not seem to indicate good decisions. The sealing an electoral alliance with former APR sectors such as Yehaunde Simón, who was premier of Alán García´s second government and directly responsible for the Bagua massacre; and the attempts to get declared misogynists that have been tried for corruption, such as Vladimir Cerrón, on board – which only failed because they disagreed on how to distribute candidacies – are supposedly justify as necessary to obtain the habilitation to participate in the elections.

This announcement has caused a huge crisis in New Peru, with 50% of its former legislators rejecting it and leaving the organization. Among them are former representatives Marisa Glave, Horacio Zeballos, Indira Huilca, etc.

The crisis that broke out in New Peru is a consequence of programmatic ambiguities, a development based solely on Veronica Mendoza´s “good image” and a supposed need to “unite the left.” These are some of the reasons that prevent Nuevo Peru from achieving a minimum level of unity on how to propose a left-wing solution and limits its leaders to making only abstract declarations about the fight against “corruption” and the Fujimorist Constitution of ´93.

Neither sectarian nor opportunistic

In all of Latin America, as in Peru itself, we have an extensive experience that we must capitalize on: every time concessions were made with the justification that “it is the only possible way”, the consequences have been dire. The memory of Ollanta Humala’s government as irrefutable proof.

Meanwhile, popular mobilization regains relevance, and the democratic slogan for a Free and Sovereign Constituent Assembly grows as an imperative need to break with the regime inherited from Fujimori in 1993.

Nor do we stop vindicating the legitimate mood of “fighting against corruption” that the Odebrecht case placed at the forefront of the political scene. We should not abandon that fight, but if we want to fight corruption, it will be essential to put an end to bank secrecy and business´ double accounting. We also propose the creation of a single national bank to prevent capital flight and the nationalization of foreign trade.

But the fight for these just demands must be accompanied by the indispensable efforts to achieve the unity of those who want to change everything, of those who do not want to parch capitalism up.

From the ISL, regardless of tactical and occasional aspects that can be debated, we understand that this unity is necessary to fight on all fronts for an anti-imperialist, socialist and revolutionary program, because what has to go is capitalism, which we have to confront as people are doing today throughout Latin America and the world. Only an organization with those foundations will allow us to advance toward a definitive solution with better possibilities, even if it participates in circumstantial electoral fronts. Without it, we are doomed to tail behind reformists and reactionaries.

We trust that the growing mobilization will pave the way to the construction of that alternative.

In Peru, as in all of Latin America, new battles are coming and it is important to respond without sectarianism or capitulations.

Alberto Giovanelli