GERMANY: Anticommunist Scholar Cancels Lecture After Graffiti Action

Photo: Building at University of Hamburg spray painted with “Gorriti = CIA” and “People’s War until Communism”

By Bill Smith

On September 30, anticommunist scholar Gustavo Gorriti canceled his talk on corruption in Peruvian society after revolutionaries spray-painted “Gorriti = CIA,” “Guerra Popular Hasta el Comunismo (People’s War until Communism),” and a hammer and sickle on a building at the University of Hamburg where Gorriti was scheduled to give his talk.

Anticommunist scholar Gustavo Gorriti

Gorriti has made a name for himself as a “Senderologist,” writing books and articles intended to slander the Communist Party of Peru (PCP) and the Peruvian revolution under the guise of “antiterrorism” and “defense of human rights.” Senderologists are a group of mainly Peruvian anticommunist scholars and journalists who specialize in attacking the PCP, often resorting to outright lies in service of the reactionary old state. The name “Senderologist” is derived from “Sendero Luminoso,” or “Shining Path” in English, which is the pejorative bourgeois label for the PCP.

Gorriti has been accused of serving as a consultant to the Peruvian armed forces and as an adviser to the CIA in their counterinsurgency efforts against the Peruvian revolution. When Chairman Gonzalo, the leader of the PCP, was captured by the fascist Fujimori regime, Gorriti acted in an effort to destroy Chairman Gonzalo’s image as a prelude to the state’s intentions to kill the man himself.

Gorriti dedicated himself to spreading slanderous lies against Chairman Gonzalo, especially in regard to his alleged “surrender,” and sought to destroy his reputation in the eyes of the people and prevent him being seen as a martyr, should he have been killed. All of this was hindered by the efforts of the international campaign to defend the life of Chairman Gonzalo which was instrumental in saving his life.

In US bourgeois academic circles as well, there is a strong influence of senderologist historical framing and slander against the People’s War in Peru, particularly targeting the greatest living Marxist-Leninist-Maoist and world’s foremost political prisoner, Chairman Gonzalo. The battlefields of history are also a battlefield of ideas, manifesting between the bourgeois line and the proletarian one. In this instance, the revolutionary action against Gorroti imposed the proletarian line at the University of Hamburg.