(en)Campaign To Support Isaac Velazco, MRTA European Spokesperson

Arm The Spirit (ats@locust.etext.org)
Fri, 19 Sep 1997 01:27:17 -0400 (EDT)

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Campaign To Support Isaac Velazco

Freedom Of Speech For Isaac Velazco!

At the request of the Peruvian government, German authorities are seeking to ban all public political statements by Isaac Velazco, European spokesperson for the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA), who lives in Hamburg. Less than a year after Peru's civilian dictator Fujimori visited Germany with a Peruvian trade delegation for meetings with Germany's political and economic elite (following up on German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel's earlier visit to Peru), the German Foreign Ministry now feels that Mr. Velazco's freedom of speech presents a "considerable danger to the foreign political interests of the Federation Republic of Germany". On the orders of Interior Minister Manfred Kanther, officials in the city state of Hamburg are taking legals steps under Germany's so-called Foreigner Law to take away Mr. Velazco's political rights and freedom of speech.

A Deathly Silence In Peru

On April 23, 1997, when Peruvian television all day long broadcast images of President Fujimori walking past the bullet-ridden bodies of the guerrillas who were executed in the Japanese ambassador's residence in Lima, a clear signal was sent to all opposition forces: Resistance to the civil dictatorship will be crushed by all means. The storming of the ambassador's residence by Peruvian special forces, which Latin American human rights groups have described as a planned massacre carried out on the orders of "Take no prisoners!", was a sign to Peru's trading partners. Last October, during a visit to Hamburg, Fujimori stated that: "We will welcome investors with open arms. Terror, poverty, social riots - those are things of the past." Now it has been proven that the Fujimori regime will seek to keep things as silenct as a cemetery in Peru, a climate which international investors approve of. The stock market in Lima soared at the news.

Life In A Gold Mine

The international media have been astounded by the economic developments which have taken place while Fujimori has been in office: "A regular gold mine!", commented the New York Times. "An economic miracle!", wrote the Wall Street Journal. But what lies behind this? When Fujimori became President of the Andean state in 1990, he introduced a neo-liberal economic model which has since become known as "Fujimori-Shock". An extensive privatization scheme was launched, and the opening up of the domestic market was one way to draw in foreign capital. The price of these policies was paid by the broad masses of the population, who were driven into poverty. The number of people living below the poverty level has doubled since 1991 to more than 13 million (in a country of just 22 million people). Politically, these neo-liberal economic changes were accompanied by increased political repression against trade unions, democratic organizations, progressive students, women's groups, and, last but not least, alleged supporters of armed organizations such as the MRTA and the Shining Path/Communist Party of Peru. The more than 5,000 political prisoners (including 450 from the MRTA) were subjected to policies of destruction. They have been forced to endure torture, hunger, isolation, and a complete loss of human rights. Fujimori said that he would let them "rot in their tombs". Many representatives of legal political organizations were thrown into prison as well after Fujimori dissolved Peru's Congress in 1992 and wrote a new Constitution.

World Policeman In The UN Security Council

It's not for nothing that Germany's Foreign Ministry sees "considerable danger to the foreign political interests of the Federation Republic of Germany with respect to bilateral relations with Peru and Japan": During his visit last October, Fujimori pledged to support Germany in its effort to gain a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. Immigration officials cited "possible damage to German-Peruvian relations" in denying entry into Germany to the mother of one of the MRTA members murdered during the storming of the ambassador's residence. She was due to speak on the events in Peru. This is yet another example of Germany actively intervening in struggles in the Third World, in this case banning the expression of the point of view of one of the parties to the conflict - this adds a new dimension to the suppression of criticisms of conditions in the Third World. Germany has a bad tradition of banning foreign organizations and criminalizing their activities. But before, like with the banning of the PKK, political action was banned by the authorities, but now the state is seeking to outlaw merely public speaking about events taking place in one's homeland. The basis for this ban which is being sought is Germany's so-called "Foreigner Law" ('Auslaenderrecht'), a racist special piece of legislation which bans things such as political activity to certain people just because they are not Germans according to the Constitution. This law, which was tightened only weeks ago, is increasingly becoming part of everyday German policy: control over and harassment of an entire population group, who are collectively viewed as dangerous, while at the same time maintaining good foreign relations. We believe that the German authorities will try to push through this ban on political activity by Isaac Velazco, in so far as they are able to. That's why it's very important that we work to stop this!

Freedom Of Speech For Isaac Velazco! Abolish The Racist "Foreigner Law"!

Faxes and letters of protest to the German authorities and in support of Isaac Velazco can be sent to the Hamburg officials at the following address:

Auslandsbefoerde Amsinckstrasse 34 20097 Hamburg Germany

Tel: +49-40-328-62292 Fax: +49-40-328-62966

Increase International Solidarity! The Struggle Continues!

Initiative "Kein Maulkorb fur Isaac Velazco!" c/o Rote Hilfe e.V. Postfach 306 302 20329 Hamburg Germany

---- Con las Masas y las Armas, Patria o Muerte ... VENCEREMOS! MRTA Solidarity Page - http://burn.ucsd.edu/~ats/mrta.htm

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