(en) MRTA Communique #13

Arm The Spirit (ats@locust.etext.org)
Thu, 10 Apr 1997 03:37:10 -0400 (EDT)

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Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA) Communique #13

To The Peruvian And International Community:

The guerrilla units of the Tupac Amaru Popular Army deplore the arbitrary detention of campesinos in guerrilla-held areas. The aim of these detentions is to terrorize the campesinos in their communities.

In the Upper Yurinaqui region, the army arrested 15 and then 21 campesinos. They were accused of being MRTA militants. We would also like to report the disappearance of 4 campesinos and the murder of Fortunato Chipana in the presence of his wife, who now is in danger herself since she was a witness to this most recent crime by the army. These actions against the civilian population cannot be excused. The army knows full well that Tupac Amaristas do not stay in the homes of the campesinos, rather out in the woods.

In the community of Nagasur, Oxampampa, and in the community of Puerto Ubirike, 15 campesinos were arrested. The villagers have stated that they were tortured into confessing crimes which they did not commit. The campesinos were placed in tubs of water connected to electric batteries. They then confessed to allegedly stealing food, money, radios, and other materials.

We condemn these arbitrary actions against the civilian population. The civilian population is largely comprised of poor campesinos and comuneros. Their names are not known, so the media are not interested in them. But their dignity and their human rights must be respected. They must not be detained, tortured, and murdered.

The MRTA demands a statement condemning the murder of Fortunato Chipana and condemning those responsible for the torture of the campesinos. We appeal to human rights organizations, to the International Red Cross, and to the churches to join together and form a commission to protect the lives and bodily integrity of the campesinos and comuneros in the guerrilla zones from the "excesses" of the state's armed forces. We appeal to the international solidarity to be attentive to these events and to condemn the attacks and human rights violations which the comuneros and farmers suffer from in the zones of conflict.

The Struggle Continues!

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