Brazilian People’s Organization Denounces Assassination of Chairman Gonzalo, Demands Dignified Burial

The Brazilian Center for Solidarity with the People (Cebraspo, Centro Brasileiro de Solidariedade aos Povos) released a statement on September 14 condemning the old Peruvian State’s assassination of Chairman Gonzalo (Dr. Abimael Guzmán Reynoso) through deliberate, criminal negligence towards his health and well-being. The organization is demanding that Chairman Gonzalo receive a proper burial after the old Peruvian State threatened to cremate his body.

Chairman Gonzalo, head of the Communist Party of Peru (PCP, Partido Comunista del Peru), gave his life fighting for the Peruvian Revolution on September 11 as a prisoner of war in his prison cell at the Callao Naval Base.

The reactionary government of Castillo is threatening to cremate the body of Chairman Gonzalo and spread the ashes in the Pacific Ocean in order to prevent the Chairman from having a gravesite. The government has indicated it will pass special legislation to expedite the desecration of Gonzalo’s corpse.

The following is an unofficial translation of Cebraspo’s full statement, “Pelo direito ao sepultamento digno do Professor Abimael Guzman Reynoso.”

For the Right to a Dignified Burial for Professor Abimael Guzmán Reynoso

By the Brazilian Center for Solidarity with the People (Cebraspo)

Professor Abimael Guzmán Reynoso (Chairman Gonzalo), prisoner of war of the Peruvian State and chairman of the Communist Party of Peru, who had been imprisoned for 29 years in a cell below sea level in the naval base of Callao, died on the morning of September 11.

As we denounced in a recent note, everything points to the Peruvian State being responsible for having left the teacher without adequate treatment, which is murder by negligence. Abimael Guzmán did not get the right to spend his last hours in the company of any family member or friend. And to further aggravate the range of rights violated since the teacher’s arrest, the Peruvian State, in the person of the Minister of Justice of a self-declared progressive government, wants to deny the right to burial of his body.

The right to a dignified burial is a fundamental human right, included in the Geneva Conventions dealing with situations of war and armed conflict. It is part of the basic tenets of all current monotheistic religions and of Christianity, which is dominant in the Western world. This right is deeply rooted in the Western cultural matrix and not by chance is at the core of Sophocles’ much-debated tragedy, when Antigone challenges the Theban state to perform the funeral rites for her brother Polynices.

The violence of the State that subjects Professor Abimael Guzmán to inhuman and degrading treatment and also insidiously dedicates itself to erasing him, in its eagerness to make not only his body disappear but also to eliminate the memory of what he represents, leads to the State subsisting by annihilating its own moral substance, engendering its own ruin, just as Sophocles said.   

The Brazilian State has already been penalized by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights for the disappearance of the bodies of combatants from the Araguaia guerrilla movement. Is the current ruler Castillo, who recently won elections in Peru with “democratic” banners against the daughter of the genocidal and fascist Fujimori, going to match the Brazilian fascist military regime in the concealment of corpses, and in the denial of the just right to burial? 

What is the Peruvian government afraid of, since it declares that there has been a supposed pacification of an armed conflict where it is comfortable to blame one of the parties—the guerrillas—for all the deaths, while it is a proven fact that the government of the fascist Fujimori went beyond any democratic right of the population, implementing a dirty war? Do you fear because the economic and social factors underlying the Peruvian reality are still present and you have no solutions to address them? How many deaths from COVID have occurred from the lack of public health policy? 190,000 deaths, the highest rate of deaths in the world from COVID relative to its population.

No death can be attributed to Professor Guzmán, either by murder or by the spread of infectious disease. Nevertheless, he was held incommunicado and his right to a dignified burial is being questioned. Will the official genocides of the people by COVID be treated in the same way? 

The same history that points to the existence of a terrifying repetition of genocides reminds us that those who are dead from systematic state violence cannot be silenced. The unacceptable attempt to annul, to conceal, and to make names and bodies disappear, killing a second time to try to erase certain subjects from the collective memory, can only have one path: the irrevocable return of those whom the State has tried to blot out into insignificance.


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