Sunday, January 22. 10.54am
The people hold Lima.
Last night the capital city of Peru, Lima, remained occupied by thousands of people. The streets are a feast, a celebration of the power of the workers and indigenous nations standing up against the capitalists.
At the moment there’s no government. There are institutions remaining that can establish “order”. President Castillo is imprisoned. He tried to dismiss the “Congress” because they were planning a coup (the Congress of Peru is more like the “House of Lords”, it’s a very reactionary institution with very little representation of the people). So the president went to jail right after dismissing the Congress. The people of Peru have marched to “shut down the congress” but they don’t want Castillo back, as he turned his back on the demands that took him to office, being that he was a former union leader of the teachers (he was acting kinda like Syriza did in Greece, or if you want, like Evo Morales or Chavez, both leaders of insurrections that they able to “tame down”). The party “Peru Libre” is not leading the charge against the Congressional coup. They are hiding.
On Monday, based on conversations I’ve had with people in Lima and by following several independent news feeds, I expect the marches to be strong, there’s a general strike ipso facto (in fact) and I doubt anyone will return to work yet. The situation is as revolutionary as it can be without a socialist organization leading the charge.
Unfortunately the left of Peru has been exhausted from long years of neoliberal regime imposed by Fujimori and Bush. Killed, imprisoned and marginalized from the working class with narcos and union thugs selectively murdering leaders, etc. Very hard.
But this awakening of the youth will bring very many new and amazing organizations and conclusions in the eyes of the Peruvian masses and the most advanced sectors of the working class worldwide.
It’s so nice to see the street musicians playing in every corner of a city that is flooded by peoples from the whole country who came to the center town (10 million people live in Lima) to stop the fascist and racist politicians from ruining their lives and the environment “pacha mama” (mother earth).
I have seen a few of these uprisings; these are relatively common in the recent political history of Latin America, and as a journalist and filmmaker I participated in a few. Because of my previous experiences I have a lot of contacts in the journalistic and socialist left of the region. In the 2019 rebellion in Chile I broadcast with a system very similar to what Unicorn Riot has (imagine my surprise at seeing “Chile” in Minneapolis months later).
This is to say that all journalists and media activists from Latin America are closely following the crisis in Peru and are making plans to go help. I am trying to coordinate with journalists who are both on the ground and around the world, making sure there’s plenty of information from many sources coming out. We need to impede a “media blackout” like Mubarak did in Egypt to perpetrate a massacre. Such a decision will be made at the US Pentagon. Ultimately it is the US government who decides those things. So the more we are informed here, the more we can do to stop a massacre if it comes to be.
My broadcasting gear is almost ready to go. I’m waiting to talk to some other friends there and clear schedules at work so I can go and give a hand if needed.
I will keep reporting,
Best, Carlos B.
Tuesday, January 24th, 8.48 am
The general strike continues until the fall of the coup.
Nobody went home since the General Strike started last Thursday, January 19. Lima is taken by the people. There are no cops (for now) in the streets. The general strike paralyzed the country and centralized the attention into the resignation of Boluarte. But that is just a formality. The real power is in the streets. The over 60 people murdered will not be forgotten. Nothing will ever go “back to normal”. There is no normal anymore in Peru. The revolutionary process opened the way for a reordering of society. The question “who will govern Peru?“ hasn’t been answered.
The main Union Federation, the CGTP, is at the head of the call for a Constituent Assembly to resolve the “crisis of power”, to call for elections and choose a new government. That would be the “republican” solution. Except there’s no way to do that. The bourgeoisie has only one idea, a bloodbath. The union bureaucracy, who by default today is running the country, wants to hand power to the bourgeoisie. At the same time the bourgeoisie feels they’re powerless if they don’t take the workers and indigenous people off the streets (and they’re right about this).
Today all the presidents of South and Central America are gathered in the CELAC forum (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States), and the crisis in Peru is one of the main topics. We shall hear more from them about this.
No matter what the solution to this crisis is, the new actors are the working people who, with a general strike and a massive mobilization, are shaping the future of Peru.
Today at 4 pm western time, the march called by CGTP will head to the Congress to shut it down and kick the coup out.
Nobody knows what will happen. A victory of the people of Peru would be a victory for the working class worldwide and for human kind.
By Carlos B