Denounce the brutal offensive to destroy Peruvian miners’ unions by the Garcia government!
In early September, the general secretary of the workers’ union of the Casapalca mine was caught by the police without warning. Two other leaders were also put in jail. They are accused of ‘the death of a police captain’ that happened in October last year. This accusation is, however, totally absurd and unjust.
The Casapalca mineworkers’ union has been waging the most militant fight among the Peruvian miners’ unions. The arrests of the three leaders are nothing but a brutal political repression that is designed to destroy their union. Workers of the Casapalca mine have continued their dauntless fight on the basis of their union. Despite the fact that most of them are temporary workers employed by different subcontractors, they have united together by strengthening their union. This is why Garcia’s government attacked their union. With this attack as a start, he intends to launch an offensive to eradicate the whole mineworkers’ movement. Acutely aware of this intention, the national federation of Peruvian miners’ unions rose in a 48-hour strike this October to fight back against the offensive.
Today, among South American countries, Peru is the most servile to US imperialism next to Colombia. The first thing that Alan Garcia did after his inauguration was the enforcement of the free trade agreement with the United States.
This country is noted for its rich mineral resources including silver, zinc, copper, tin and gold. Most of these minerals are produced, however, under the management of multinationals based in the US, Canada, Australia, Switzerland and other European countries. (Japanese monopolies including Mitsui, Mitsubishi and Sumitomo have invested their capital.) This is the result of the free economic policy that was taken by Alberto Fujimori during his presidency in 1990s. Moreover, Chinese companies are making inroads into this country today with the Shougang Group in the lead.
The Garcia government, together with the Peruvian bourgeoisie, have pursued their own interests by expanding the development and export of mineral resources through the invitation of US, European monopolies and Chinese companies. This has, of course, enabled these foreign companies to enjoy the limitless plunder of natural resources and, on the other, caused severer poverty to workers and peasants in this country.
Peruvian rulers know well that mineworkers will lead the toiling masses in their struggle against the cruel exploitation and the plunder of resources by foreign companies and eventually expel the president as servant of US imperialism. This is why Peruvian rulers have launched an offensive to destroy the mineworkers’ unions.
This attack is, however, stirring up another anger of the masses. And the anger is expanding like tidal waves beyond the Peruvian border.
Unite across borders to fight back!
From Bolivia, an ardent statement of solidarity has been issued by the Federación Sindical de Trabajadores Mineros de Borivia [FSTMB], which has the 60-year old history of vigorous struggle and has been always in the forefront of the class struggle. In its statement, the FSTMB calls on workers all over the world to fight for the release of the Peruvian miners.
Comrades of the FLTI have also stood up in protest on the initiative of its Peruvian affiliate, Liga Trotskista Internacionalista [LTI]. They call for international actions to press the Peruvian government to unconditionally free the jailed leaders of the union together with militant workers and peasants of Amazonia.
In response to these calls, various organizations are joining the campaign one after another. They include Zanon, Brukman and other industrial workers of Argentina, Himalaya mine workers of Bolivia, the Santiago federation of university students together with education workers of Chile.
In response to the call from the Bolivian mineworkers’ union, stand up together with comrades of the FLTI. Let us express our solidarity with Peruvian mineworkers! Immediately free our brothers of the Casapalca mine! Fight back against Garcia’s repression of workers and peasants!
Japanese monopoly capitalists are tormenting workers in Japan with massive sackings and lower wages, driving them into poverty and unemployment more ruthlessly than ever. Moreover, in a desperate bid to wriggle out of the economic crisis, Japanese imperialists are bent on intensifying their neo-colonialist inroads into not only Asian countries but also Latin America — in a fret because China is outstripping them. We must never let them do it. We are determined to fight in solidarity with Peruvian mineworkers, and with all working people in Latin America, who are struggling to break the cruel exploitation and expropriation by monopoly capitalist corporations of the US, Japanese and other imperialist countries and by greedy companies of China, which is intensifying its attempts to capture natural resources worldwide with an ambition to become a ‘superpower of the 21st century’.
In order to break the offensives to impose poverty upon the toiling masses, let us strengthen our unity with comrades who are fighting all over the world!
(Excerpted from weekly Kaihoh No. 2095)