They came from all over the country: from the south and the north; the coastal regions and the Amazonian jungle, many Aymara and Quechua speakers; workers, peasants and the student youth; all united in Lima with one aim – to bring down the illegitimate president Dina Boluarte who took office after the 7 December coup against Pedro Castillo.

This is a crucial week for the movement against the coup in Peru. Despite brutal and continued repression, the workers, peasants and students in struggle against illegitimate president Dina Baluarte have continued fighting. The country’s trade union confederation CGTP has called for a national strike on 19 January and columns of protesters are converging on the capital Lima.

One month after the coup against president Castillo on 7 December, the new illegitimate government of Dina Boluarte has used brutal police and army repression to put down protests, leaving 45 dead. Workers and peasants have resisted the coup with mass demonstrations, road blockades, national and regional general strikes and the formation of committees of struggle across the country in a movement that has its epicentre in the poorer, more indigenous southern departments. Who was behind the 7 December coup and what are the prospects for the mass movement of resistance?

This is the text of a leaflet, issued by the comrades of the IMT in Peru on 4 January, when there was a call for an indefinite general strike in the southern regions of the country, as part of the struggle to oppose the coup against President Castillo.

The mountain has laboured and brought forth a mouse. Yesterday, the Peruvian Congress once again considered the question of an early election, which it had rejected last Friday. When Dina Boluarte illegitimately took over from president Castillo, she announced she would stay in office until 2026. That has become untenable. Clearly a section of the ruling class in Peru understands that it must reform the political system in order to try to quell the huge wave of indignation raised by the congressional coup against President Castillo on 7 December.

Since the impeachment of Peruvian President, Pedro Castillo, by Congress on 7 December, the workers and peasants have begun mobilising in ever-growing numbers. In some regions, these mobilisations have taken on insurrectionary proportions. The masses clearly see that this is a coup, behind which stands the capitalist oligarchy and US imperialism. Below we publish the text of a leaflet currently being distributed in this mass movement by the comrades of the International Marxist Tendency (IMT) in Peru.

A member of our editorial board, Jorge Martín, was interviewed by the Turkish daily paper BirGün about the recent explosive developments in Peru, in which a Congressional coup has seen left-wing president Pedro Castillo deposed and arrested. This has now provoked a mass protest movement, led by enraged workers and poor peasants. 

A third impeachment motion had been filed against president Pedro Castillo and was to be discussed on December 7, by Congress. However, at 11:45am Castillo gave a message to the nation announcing the dissolution of parliament, in response to the multiple attacks and obstacles that it has placed on his mandate from the beginning.

In the last few hours, the political crisis has accelerated in Peru. President Castillo decreed the closing down of Congress, but was swiftly arrested by police. Congress voted to impeach him and proclaimed his vice president as the new president.

On Wednesday, 6 October, Guido Bellido resigned from the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and President Pedro Castillo announced a new cabinet that represents a clear shift to the right. Those ministers that the bourgeois press described as “radicals” and “senderistas” [Shining Path supporters] were turfed out. In their place came businessmen, the “moderates", and the so-called “caviar left” committed to the stability of the bourgeois regime. Finance Minister Francke, the fifth column of CONFIEP business federation in the government, remains in his post. The Peru Libre parliamentary group has declared it will not support the new government.

The victory of Pedro Castillo in the Peruvian presidential election is a major political earthquake, which reflects the enormous social and political polarisation in the Andean country. The ruling class has been dealt a massive defeat by the masses, who have rallied behind a militant teacher trade unionist at the head of a party, Perú Libre, which calls itself Marxist, Leninist and Mariateguist (after Mariátegui, the founder of the Peruvian labour and socialist movement).

With just a few days until the second round of the presidential election in Peru, Pedro Castillo has only a very narrow advantage over his rival, Keiko Fujimori. The election reveals the enormous political polarisation in the Andean country, which has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Sunday 11 April, the first round of the presidential elections in Peru produced a major surprise: the victory, against all the odds, of Pedro Castillo, the leader of the 2017 teachers' strike. In the second round, he will face the reactionary, right-wing candidate of Fuerza Popular, Keiko Fujimori, in a clear expression of enormous political polarisation in a country ravaged by the economic crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Yesterday, the Peruvian congress elected a new leadership headed by Francisco Sagasti, who will be sworn in as the new country’s president today. The election of Sagasti (Partido Morado) at the head of a list composed exclusively of congressmen who did not vote for the impeachment of president Vizcarra on 11 November is a desperate attempt to maintain the continuity of the institutions of discredited bourgeois democracy and to rebuild their legitimacy.

Events are moving very fast in Peru. On 9 November, the president Martin Vizcarra was removed from office; a week later the new Merino government has fallen under the pressure of the mass movement unleashed in recent days. The crisis in the bourgeois state has opened the floodgates of the class struggle in the streets and the working class and the youth have defeated the regime in this first battle.

A severe crisis has opened up in Peru, with the Garcia government being pressurised by the mass movement, involving hundreds of thousands of workers. The government can now either step back and try and gain time or go on the offensive with repressive measures. Whatever they do, the movement will not go away.

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