Communist Youth League: “They Murdered One, but Meant Us All; Revenge for Chairman Gonzalo!”

We share this important statement of the Refounding Committee of the Communist Youth League of Switzerland on the passing of Chairman Gonzalo on 9/11/2021. We also share the official German poster of the joint international event of Partizan (South Germany), Revolutionary Democracy and the Communist Youth League of Switzerland (Refounding Committee) in Ludwigsburg, Germany on 26.09.2021.




03.12.1934 — 11.09.2021

On the 11th of September, 2021, one of the greatest rolemodels of our organization and of all fighting communists, Chairman Gonzalo (also known as Dr. Abimael Guzmán Reynoso in the capitalist media), was murdered by the Peruvian State after almost 29 years of imprisonment and torture — all of this one day before the 29th anniversary of his arrest (on the 12th of September, 1992).

Chairman Gonzalo was the leader and refounder of the Communist Party of Peru. During his studies in Ayacucho, a small rural town, he was confronted with the great poverty and oppression of the Peruvian people. Thus, despite his wealthy family background, he sided with the poor and exploited and sought contact with the indigenous poor peasants from throughout the region, learning their language, Quechua. He quickly understood that only a revolution would put an end to the suffering and misery that was widespread throughout Peru. For example, in addition to his studies, he gave lessons on communism and science to the indigenous population and deeply studied their problems. This led to him joining the „communist party“, which at that point had lost its way and was no longer a fighting party of the working class, but an irrelevant electoral club that had nothing to do with class struggle. There he fought for the demands of the poor peasants and the working class, and after a long struggle he drove out the opportunists, who merely used the party for their own purposes and interests. He organized the poor peasants for years and developed the struggle of the workers. This gave rise to a powerful peasant movement, a massive wave of strikes in the cities, and the radicalization of university students and high school students, whose struggle often developed into street struggles in which he took part in the first row.

In Ayacucho he founded the red faction of the party, which represented the revolutionary position of the Chinese Communist Party, mainly the position of Chairman Mao, that we do not achieve our liberation through parliaments and such illusions, but only through class struggle, through revolutionary war against all that destroys us, exploits us, oppresses us. Because Peru is an oppressed country, where — unlike in Switzerland, for example — the medieval feudal serfdom of the poor peasantry by the owners of large shares of land continues to exist, Gonzalo affirmed that the party must pay special attention precisely to the countryside and the poor peasantry, and that the revolution in Peru must take the form of encircling the cities from the countryside.

The struggle to refound the party was hard, but Chairman Gonzalo proved that his ideas and communist thought were and are in the interest of the exploited. Thus, in 1979, he succeeded in refounding the party and was appointed chairman. As a result, the People’s War was launched in Peru in 1980. Through the organization of the working class and peasantry, a people’s army and people’s militia were built, which drove the old rulers more and more out of the villages and neighborhoods. The peasantry and workers began to empower themselves. After 12 years, the party had extended its leadership over large parts of the country, including in the shanty towns of Lima. New people’s power structures were established in about 40% of Peru — especially in the countryside, where the poor peasantry owned their own soil for the first time in centuries, rather than working themselves to death for a large landowner; where seed exchange, health care, justice and cultural life were collectively shaped and developed in the hands of the people. A society by and for the exploited, the oppressed, those who had been at the bottom for centuries. Governed by the people themselves and by representatives of the people who can be recalled at any time, so-called commissars.

One such people’s committee in the Andes of Peru.

Of course, the Peruvian oppressor state did not like this at all, and they took any means to prevent this. They murdered entire villages and dug thousands of unmarked mass graves in the slums and villages of Peru.

They also made great efforts to get rid off Chairman Gonzalo. But because the party was clandestine and knew how to work in secret, they failed countless times.

However, on September 12, 1992, when the people’s war strategically came into balance with the reactionary army of the old state, the latter — in collaboration with the CIA — still managed to capture Gonzalo.

The communists and revolutionaries even occupied and took over their own prisons, making even these livable places. As revenge, the Peruvian state massacred them.

It immediately became clear that the old fascist state, led by the President Fujimori, wanted to assassinate the Chairman as soon as possible by reinstating the death penalty. Thanks to the International Campaign for the Defense of the Life of Chairman Gonzalo, attention and anger flared up worldwide. This made it impossible for Fujimori to assassinate Chairman Gonzalo directly, and the debate over the death penalty for Gonzalo died down.

Gonzalo was then placed in the world’s most wellprotected solitary confinement. His two-by-two meter cell (or rather, his concrete pit) was located under an island that serves as a naval base for the Peruvian army. Over 29 years of solitary confinement in a hole, torture and no medical treatment for his psoriasis led to steady deterioration of his medical condition.

On September 24, 1992, Chairman Gonzalo was put into a prisoner jumpsuit and packed into a cage. With this, they wanted to break his morale. But they did not succeed. Gonzalo gave a speech in which he called for the revolution to continue.

The first life sign in years was the news that he had been transferred to a hospital this year on July 17 due to critical health condition. It turned out that the psoriasis had developed into a skin cancer due to decades of denial of medical treatment. Further information about his condition was unavailable until September 11, when his death was announced. After his hospital visit, he was transported directly back to his cell where, despite an acute deterioration in his condition, he was again denied treatment. As a result, he died in his cell at the age of 86.

Because of this decades-long denial of treatment, and especially during the acute deterioration of his condition, this is a planned political assassination.

Despite the steady deterioration of his health and the court cases in the 00s and the 10s as his only contact with the outside world, Chairman Gonzalo’s revolutionary fighting spirit remained unbroken – uncompromising as ever.

Chairman Gonzalo proved to the whole world that communism was alive even after the counter-revolutions in Russia and China, and at the same time showed that the communism of today, that is maoism, is applicable outside of China as well. He himself made a great contribution to communist theory through the experience he gained in applying Mao’s ideas. For all these reasons, we consider him the greatest communist in recent history. We see him as a role model and his death does not change that.

In the capitalist media, figures of 70,000 dead are circulating, for which the communist party is apparently responsible, and Tamedia and NZZ are talking about the „terrorist leader Gonzalo“. But all this is nothing but a cheap lie. In this, even scholars who in any case cannot be called revolutionaries, such as Silvio Rendon1, agree with us. The real murderers of 70,000 human beings are not the communists of Peru, but the ruling class – because in Peru 70,000 infants die of treatable diseases or malnutrition, and this not in a period of 19 years, but annually. As Red Aid rightly puts it:

Gonzalo’s ideas can and should be debated, but what is undeniable is that they represent a vivid and creative application of Maoism, and thus gave Maoism a new and important place in the world communist movement.

And Gonzalo’s contribution to the revolutionary cause goes far beyond the Maoist current.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, when the ideological offensive of the bourgeoisie was putting pressure on the struggles of communists, he not only dared to put the question of confrontation with the state back at the center of politics, but also showed that this confrontation could be victorious.

By that time, the CPP had already mobilized considerable masses of the proletariat and peasantry and reorganized social and economic life in large areas that it had liberated and defended with gun in hand. This long and hard people’s war, waged against a genocidal regime, allowed the CPP to reach the phase of “strategic stalemate” that was the threshold and precondition for a final offensive against the state and its armed forces.

These successes explain the influence of these ideas in countries that are historically, socially and economically very different from Peru.

These successes also explain the shameless smear and disinformation campaigns directed against this people’s war and Gonzalo, as well as the relentlessness of the prison sentence.2

When Peruvian politicians today talk about the need to eradicate not only Gonzalo but also Gonzalo thought, or when reformist and opportunist workertraitors in Switzerland celebrate his death, it only shows that this system, and all its appendages (no matter how rebellious they may pretend to be), are completely finished. They are dying. It’s no surprise that people who have an interest in the maintenance of capitalism are shitting their pants in the face of this. That’s a good thing.

Let’s make this fear of the empowerment of the working class, of the masses, an unignorable reality in Switzerland as well. Riots like in St. Gallen were a beginning, but they must be developed into a class-conscious struggle against capitalism and imperialism. We need a combative, communist vanguard of the youth, that fearlessly stands on the front line, showing all who hesitate that rebelling is justified. Therefore we must refound the Communist Youth League, and after that the Communist Party of Switzerland, as a fighting party of the working class. Only in this way can we adequately avenge the murder of Gonzalo, and of all the others who have lost their lives and their freedom to capitalism — be they determined revolutionaries or simple masses who have left us too soon through work accidents or police violence.

We will never forget Chairman Gonzalo. Not because we idolize him as an individual, that is not what we are about. But because he was the leader of the Peruvian revolution for decades, and because he brought back to the working class of the whole world the forgotten perspective of communism. Above all, we will recognize and apply all his contributions to put an end to this hell of capitalism, of imperialism. Communism will win!

Although one man was murdered, that blow was directed against all of us, all those who fight for a better, a new world. Without exploitation, without oppression. That is why we must respond collectively.



Besides the declaration by Red Aid International, we recommend the powerful statement by the Communist Party of Switzerland (Red Faction) regarding the assasination of Gonzalo: „Gonzalo Lived, Gonzalo Lives, Gonzalo Will Live Forever“.

You can read more about Chairman Gonzalo and the people’s war in Peru in the text of the magazine Conquest of Power „Chairman Gonzalo’s Place in History“ – which we can only recommend – or in our (shorter) text „Freedom for Chairman Gonzalo — Here and Now“ (and if you prefer watching movies, there are also two really good documentaries + a video of a speech from prison by Gonzalo linked in our post).

We also recommend the song Bombtrack by Rage Against the Machine. The music video was censored by MTV because it is about the people’s war in Peru:

Last but not least, we want to add art here — from us and other colleagues — that we think honors Chairman Gonzalo.

A poster of ours
Poster from the „Union of Proletarian Struggle“ (Union de Lucha Proletaria) from Mexico. Honor y gloria means like honor and glory. In the background you can see the interview with Chairman Gonzalo, which is a good introduction to Gonzalo’s ideas and practice.
A wallnewspaper of ours.

1 See his study „Capturing correctly: A reanalysis of the indirect capture–recapture methods in the Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission“.