Counterinsurgency War; US Bases and Troops in Peru prt. 1

By Stella Calloni on December 28, 2022

The dramatic crisis that Peru has been experiencing since last December 7, after the illegal removal of President Pedro Castillo, imposed by the Parliament under the control of the Peruvian ultra-right, which ordered his arrest the same day of the President’s message to the nation, sentenced a week later by the Permanent Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court to 18 months in prison, which provoked a popular uprising in several regions, repressed by the police from the first moments and then by the army when the coup perpetrators imposed a state of emergency and other dictatorial measures.

The government of Dina Boluarte and the parliament are responsible for the massacres that took place, and for the repression that continues to this day.  Boluarte, Castillo’s vice-president, had already been “co-opted”, betraying those who voted for her, imposed by the ultra-right as president, thinking that she could win over some of the sectors that supported the detained president. She did not succeed and militarization continues to spread over the regions where the population survives in the terror of a military occupation by Peruvian special forces and US troops, which have been in Peru for years and occupy a very large area of the country’s territory,

The silence on this presence became an open complicity in addition to ignoring that this parliamentary, media, judicial and political coup of the right wing under Washington’s control is part of the Geostrategic Project of Recolonization of Latin America publicly recognized by the U.S. rulers. How long will the complicit silences last?

In reality the coup was being prepared since Castillo took office on July 28, 2021, when the pro-US right wing obstructed every measure of that government, beyond its own weaknesses, which are not a valid argument if one reads what was going on around it since the years of the dictator Alberto Fujimori (July 1990- November 2000) who in 1992 dissolved the Congress, intervened in the Judiciary, took control of all the media and gave free hand to unlimited repression and death squads. In 1993 he imposed a constitution, similar to that left by the dictator Augusto Pinochet in Chile.

So far, Fujimori is under arrest both for the scandalous corruption that continues to burden the country and for the crimes against humanity committed during his government and must serve a sentence of 25 years in prison, which no one now knows if he will do so. We still do not have all the necessary data that would show the number of massacres in peasant areas, in addition to the murders and disappearances committed in those years and even afterward and what is happening now….

Stella Calloni

In an investigation by journalist Carlos Fazio, an Uruguayan resident in Mexico in an article published in the newspaper La Jornada, he states that “the main operator of the coup plot in the Parliament was its current president, retired general José Williams Zapata, former head of the Joint Command of the Armed Forces of Peru and representative of the conservative group Avanza País, who during the second round of the 2021 elections supported the ultra-right Keiko Fujimori, against her opponent, Pedro Castillo, who was elected”.

In 2006, Williams Zapata was president of the Army Joint Command, being accused of serious corruption and in 2021 of cover-up in the massacre of Accomarca (1985), where 69 community members were murdered. He also has a dreadful background, as pointed out by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) of the United States when he was head of the Northern Military Region of Piura (from 2004 to 2005) and even linked to important drug cartels in Mexico.

A character like Williams Zapata is undoubtedly someone who can be given the “carpetazos” when they are already under Pentagon control. This and others are the reasons why the general, now a parliamentarian, “was one of the main articulators of the coup plan from Congress against Castillo, coordinating with the Peruvian military high command and the U.S. ambassador in Lima, Lisa Kenna, a former agent of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), “who relied on the military attaché of that diplomatic mission, Mariano Alvarado, an operations officer of the Pentagon’s Military Advisory and Assistance Group (MAAG), who maintains close contact with the Peruvian generals”.

It is incredible that it was argued that Castillo was going to establish a government of emergency and exception, which according to the “democratic” parliamentarians “would alter the constitutional order and public peace”, besides that “the deposed president could flee due to his attempt to take refuge in the Mexican embassy in Lima”.

Precisely the first thing Boluarte ordered, by orders of the central command, was to install the State of Exception and other dictatorial measures since December 15, in order to leave the territory free to the “experts” in combating “subversion and terrorism”.

This aggravated the popular rebellion which had arisen in several regions of the country demanding the immediate freedom of the former president, at the same time demanding the dissolution of Parliament and the call for a Constituent Assembly, after the people have endured six presidents in six years. The case appears as a dead end.

To all this is added the existence of a number of U.S. military bases and establishments, in addition to the presence of U.S. troops in strategic places. Nobody talks about this as if a growing foreign military occupation in the life of a nation were not a factor of utmost importance.

According to sources linked to the hierarchs of transnational corporations in Lima, the coup plot would have been hatched last September as part of a sophisticated intelligence operation.

Since Congress did not have the necessary votes to remove President Castillo from office, they made him believe “that he had the support of the armed forces and the police and induced him to dissolve Parliament (to break the constitutional order) by forging polls (which they only showed him) and made him believe that he had more than 40 percent of popular support and Congress only 8 percent, so it would be very easy to overthrow him and he would be acclaimed by the crowd, says Fascio.

In addition to the army and the police, “the plan involved the attorney general’s office, the comptroller’s office, ministers, congressmen and Vice President Boluarte. After the president read his message to the nation, several ministers resigned in series. Castillo then sought the support of the armed forces through his military aides-de-camp and got no response.  There he realized that he had been set up, but it was too late. State security even held him in the palace while they waited for the congressional vote to strip him of his immunity. Then they told him that a supposed plan B had been agreed upon: to seek asylum in the Mexican embassy (one of the conspirators had arranged for Castillo’s diplomatic asylum in the Mexican mission).

But moments after Congress declared his impeachment he was arrested by a SWAT commando of the national police. He was taken to the Comptroller’s Office and the Attorney General immediately appeared, while Dina Boluarte, a symbol of treason, was waiting at her house to be called to assume as President of the Republic, as it happened.

The only one who was not part of the coup plot was the commander general of the army, Walter Córdova, who according to the newspaper La República, on December 5 had been pressured by the head of Parliament, José Williams, to leave his post “because there were serious accusations against him that affected the institutionality of the Army”, a typical extortion.

Also, on the eve of the coup, U.S. Ambassador Lisa Kenna met with Defense Minister Gustavo Bobbio, who, like Córdova, resigned on December 7. According to the Lima newspaper, the last phone call Castillo took before leaving the presidential palace came from the U.S. embassy. The Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, had blessed the coup and recognized Boluarte.

It was also the United States who was behind the appointment of the new head of the National Intelligence Directorate, retired Colonel Juan Carlos Liendo O’Connor, former liaison officer in the Pentagon’s Southern Command, closely linked to the dictatorship of Alberto Fujimori and his alter ego, Vladimiro Montesinos, both imprisoned for crimes against humanity” . Liendo guarantees the ongoing repression and militarization in Peru.

The impressive rebellion of the Peruvian people, which the sociologist and professor Héctor Bejar, appointed as Chancellor in the first days of Castillo’s government, was highly respected in the whole region and quickly dismissed by the pressure of the Parliament, considered as “an authentic rebellion of the Peruvian people”, considered that this is “an authentic popular uprising” which has been joined by students from several universities in the country, to which the Peruvian army, trained for years by the United States, is acting to eliminate “subversion, to fight (supposedly) drug trafficking, and terrorism” to which is added “communism”.

According to high-ranking officials, in declarations to the media, they are “working intensely” to combat terrorism, which according to them is behind these popular demonstrations of peasants, workers, unionists, communities, miners and others.

The most serious thing is that the instruction to the media and networks that are also under U.S. control is aimed at terrorizing the Peruvian people, with the supposed fight “against the remnants of terrorism”. The people already know what this means, they have memories of what they have lived through, and they continue to mourn the dead and disappeared, throughout the last few years.  But there are sectors of the population that are still terrified by what the disinformation media write.

Peruvians are preparing to suffer fierce political persecution by the armed forces and police forces that have declared the “anti-terrorist war” with the support of the “parliament” of justice and the media, local and foreign.

At present, there are more than 10 U.S. military bases throughout the Peruvian territory installed in private modules or in Peruvian military or navy bases. They are located in strategic energy posts. Among the best known military bases are 1- Palmapampa (in the VRAEM). 2- Mazamari – VRAEM. 3- Pichari – VRAEM. 4- Puerto de El Callao. 5. Ancon. Pucalpa.7. Equitos.8. Teniente Clavero 9 Putumayo,… Santa Clotilde – Loreto 10.

The VAREM refers to a zone of valleys headed by Apurimac, and others, a strategic place for military exercises and a base zone. The existence of the U.S. Navy laboratory, called NAMRU-6, with facilities in Lima and Iquitos, has also been denounced for supposedly investigating infectious diseases. This has been denounced by numerous social organizations. The media cites Congressman Richard Arce who submitted a questionnaire to the U.S. Ministry of Defense that no one answered.

Peruvian analyst Ricardo Soberón maintains that this Laboratory (NAMRU-6) established by the United States Navy in Peru in 1983, carries a series of doubts and observations about its operation and activity.

Soberón warns that 21st century war technology “is accompanied by the development of pathological agents, endemic agents and chemical and biological agents that are used for military purposes. We have seen this in various recent scenarios. Taking this concern into account, “it is striking that a tropical medicine facility has been built that works with biosafety level 3, which is recognized in the use of pathogenic agents”.

He adds that according to “the questions that Congressman Richard Arce asked the Ministry of Defense, we understand that the Peruvian Navy is the counterpart of the U.S. Navy in the establishment of this complex within the Peruvian Naval Hospital. “The doubts that we have had through Congressman Arce’s questions, which have not been answered, basically refer to the roles, the autonomies, the competences that both counterparts have in Peruvian territory and how the results obtained from the investigations are carried out in the field of tropical diseases. He also analyzes that “effectively, being a strictly military mechanism, the fact that there are American military personnel should lead us to two questions: 1- What jurisdiction do they obey, do they have diplomatic status? 2- Serving within a Peruvian military installation, is the chain of command directed towards their military liaison or towards the Peruvian military? Finally, and this question was not answered either, what certainty do the Peruvian military have that the results of the investigations are not directed for military purposes?” (Article published in the magazine El Derecho de Vivir en Paz N°14).

Source: Network in Defense of Humanity – translation Resumen Latinoamericano – US