ISL Declaration: Solidarity with the Peruvian people

Defeat the coup plotters and impose a workers’ and peoples’ solution! Free and Sovereign Constituent Assembly! For a government of the organizations of the working people in struggle!

Since December 7, the day that Congress removed Pedro Castillo and then vice president Dina Boluarte took office, the institutional, social and political crisis that Peru is experiencing has deepened. The people quickly took to the streets and have been staging massive and radical mobilizations to repudiate the corrupt regime inherited from Fujimori that once again tries to seize power through a corrupt Congress and represents the most rancid oligarchy. To try to gain a foothold, the usurpers of the government have decreed a national State of Emergency and a curfew in 15 provinces, launched a fierce repression and are talking about advancing the elections to April 2024. No solution will come from the representatives of the regime and its rotten institutions. They try to sow expectations in false promises to legitimize the coup while they repress and massacre the people. For all these reasons, the International Socialist League calls for surrounding the working people in struggle with solidarity and declares:

1. The last presidential elections that brought Pedro Castillo to the presidency expressed the acute political and social polarization that Peru is undergoing. The election of Castillo, with a low intensity populism, expressed the generalized discontent against the representatives of the regime that have governed under the Constitution of genocidal dictator Fujimori who have benefited from the intrinsic relationship with capitalist businesses and corruption, while the working class, the peasantry, the poor, indigenous people, women and the youth sink farther and farther each day into social precariousness.

2. With a minimal program and tied to old recycled parties, Pedro Castillo quickly disappointed the expectations generated by elevating a rural teacher to power, applying austerity in accordance with the Congress and renouncing the promise of a Constituent Assembly and of governing in the interests of the postponed sectors. Instead, he made a pact with the oligarchy and the right to show capital that he was at the service of governance within the framework of the regime and the system, believing that in this way he would get them to accept him as their representative. Thus he lost his social base, was weakened and isolated himself, allowing the most reactionary sectors of the Peruvian regime to become emboldened and, since he took office, begin working to overthrow him. On two occasions they tried to vote for his vacancy from Congress without success. Faced with a new attempt that had been announced, Castillo took a measure without any kind of preparation or support, announcing that he would dissolve Congress, reform the Judiciary, and begin the process of calling a Constituent Assembly. This situation was used as an excuse by the forces with representation in Congress to gather the necessary votes to dismiss him and order the Armed Forces, via the Constitutional Court, to “restore order,” proceeding to the imprisonment of Pedro Castillo and unleashing a repression that has already begun and claimed more than 20 victims.

3. The final measures of Castillo’s government could have possibly been applied, had he called for the broadest mobilization to dismantle the corrupt regime as soon as he took office, relying on the social moods that allowed him his electoral victory. But his project never aimed at breaking the bourgeois institutions inherited from Fujimorism or questioning the Peruvian neoliberal Capitalist State. From the beginning, he planned to administer those institutions on the basis of agreements with the Creole oligarchy, foreign corporations and their reactionary representatives in Congress. That is why he never appealed to mobilization or took measures in favor of the workers and the people until he ended up isolated even within his own government. This once again demonstrates the limits of this type of project that both progressives and the center-left so defend across the continent, and have been opening the doors to the right. Despite all this, we demand the immediate liberation of Castillo and we do not recognize in the corrupt Congress or the Judiciary of the Peruvian oligarchy any moral or political authority to dismiss or judge him. In any case, it will be the workers’ and peoples’ organizations that will have to judge him in a future workers’ government.

4. In Peru there have been six presidents in the last four years. This expresses the decadence and decomposition of the Fujimori regime that functions under the 1993 Constitution, an anti-democratic system that promotes corruption and the empowerment of the castes that are entrenched in every institution of the bourgeois State, like the Congress, the Executive and Judiciary, with the protection of the capitalists grouped in the National Confederation of Private Business Institutions (CONFIEP) and in the National Agreement. This regime and system is responsible for the labor informality of 70% of the population, the unlimited extractivism that pollutes and impoverishes the countryside, the deterioration of basic and fundamental rights such as access to health or education, while increasingly enriching an owning minority, corporations like mega-mining companies that destroy natural resources, banks and AFPs. All this in a scenario of a deepening global economic crisis that is increasingly affecting the livelihood of the working class.

5. The inauguration of Dina Boluarte, appointed by Congress, is an attempt by the political forces of the regime to continue on their way to normalize the situation in the country at their service and keep on its feet a regime that is currently being attacked by social mobilization. Boluarte herself has called for a “truce,” the establishment of a “Government of national unity” and “a broad-based Cabinet.” While her first actions have been to invoke a State of Emergency to repress, assassinate and punish the insurgent people who are assaulting the streets and continue to mobilize. It is because of the social effervescence that the designated president had to raise the advancement of the elections to April 2024, a measure for survival of the regime, for nothing to change. Only bullets and traps will come from Boluarte and the Congress.

6. Because of all the above, the workers, the people, the youth and the poor peasantry have decided to take to the streets to stop the coup-mongering Congress, confront the repression and demand a Constituent Assembly to bury Fujimori’s Constitution. The radicalized demonstrations are the driving force that can corner the regime as a whole and, despite the repression that has already killed dozens and wounded and detained hundreds, the mood that drives the protests has not wound down: massive mobilizations; road blocks; the seizure of the airport; public universities under student occupation in Lima, Cajamarca, Arequipa and Cuzco; fires at Prosecutor’s Offices and police stations; and calls for strikes and general strikes. The mobilization is weakening the coup plotters. In the last hours, several ministers have resigned due to popular repudiation.

7. The legitimate right to protest that the Peruvian people are exercising and that Boluarte and the Congress are trying to crush with the police and military, opens the opportunity to bury the Fujimori regime that has been defended by each of the representatives that have succeeded in power. The correlation of forces will continue to be measured in the streets, which is why we cannot trust any measure taken by the regime. Our trust must reside only in the mobilized social forces. The call for general elections will not solve the problem, on the contrary, it will postpone the fall of the 1993 Constitution and will be an attempt to legitimize the parliamentary coup.

8. The International Socialist League and our comrades in Peru, extend our international solidarity and call on the organizations in struggle, on workers’, peoples’, peasants’, students’ and social organizations to not give up, to come together and coordinate the measures of struggle necessary to defeat the coup plotters. Only a General Strike and the continuity of massive and unitary mobilizations will be capable of imposing a Free and Sovereign Constituent Assembly, without any type of tutelage from the old regime, to reorganize the country on new bases. Only the self-organization and self-defense of those below will be able to defeat the repression and put an end to the State of Emergency. Only a government of the workers’ and peoples’ organizations in struggle will be capable of applying the necessary measures for the capitalists to pay for the crisis. It is essential to regroup the revolutionary socialist forces in the country at the service of these tasks and give way to the construction of a powerful political alternative of the workers.

9. We call on national and international left-wing organizations in the continent and across the world, on trade-union, social, student and human rights organizations that agree with the need to support the mobilization of the Peruvian working people until the coup leaders are defeated, to develop a unitary campaign, organizing marches and events in front of the embassies and consulates of Peru and all kinds of initiatives to show the sectors in struggle of Peru that they are not alone, that the working class and the peoples’ and militant sectors of the world accompany them.

International Socialist League

16 December 2022