Information on Izquierdista party, Peru (1985, 1989) [PER3528]

No party under the name of Izquierdista (leftist) is reported among the currently available sources. As requested later by telephone, this response includes general information on political groups of Peru often described as leftist.

In Peru, [Information compiled from: Latin American Political Movements (Essex: Longman Group, Ltd., 1985), chapter on Peru; Andean Group Report (Latin American Regional Reports), various issues; Latin America Daily Report, (FBIS, 19 December 1988, p.41); Political Parties of the World (Detroit: Gale Research Co., 1984), chapter on Peru; Caretas, issues from October 1988 to December 1989; 1986-1989 International Yearbooks on International Communist Affairs (Stanford: Hoover Institution Press, 1984-89), chapters on Peru; The Europa World Yearbooks 1986-1989, (London: Europa Publications, 1986-1989); Werlich, David P., "Peru: García loses his charm", Current History, January 1988.] more than 40 parties described as Marxist or left-wing operate legally, most of them forming coalitions. A few have gone underground, including the small political groupings comprising the "Comité Comunista Unificado Marxista Leninista" (CCUML, Marxist-Leninist Unified Communist Committee), of which the "Sendero Luminoso" is the dominant group. The largest coalition of legal Marxist parties is the Izquierda Unida (IU, United Left), which was formed in 1980. A recent coalition formed by Marxist parties separating from the IU is the "Acuerdo Socialista (ASI, Socialist Agreement), led by former IU leader Alfonso Barrantes. The IU coalition is currently headed by Jorge del Prado, who is also head of the Peruvian Communist Party. The number of IU mayors elected in the 1989 municipal elections was higher than in 1986. The United Left leads the opposition in Congress, holding almost a third of the seats in both chambers, while various recent polls have put the coalition again in second place for the upcoming (April 1990) presidential elections, following the leading Fredemo coalition (an opposition group formed by non-Marxist parties).

As stated above, not all Marxist parties belong to a coalition. An example is the Socialist Party (Partido Socialista, PS), one of the oldest political parties in Peru. The PS was reportedly [Sources indicate the PS and PCP have different versions of their origins, as each claims to follow Mari tegui's original line.] formed and led by Peruvian Marxist writer José Carlos Mari tegui, after whose death Eudosio Rabines took control of the party and renamed it the Peruvian Communist Party (PCP). Other closer associates of Mari tegui, however, decided to disregard this move and continued with the PS.

However, not all "leftist" parties in Peru are Marxist. An example is the FNTC/FRENATRACA party (Frente Nacional de Trabajadores y Campesinos, or National Front of Peasants and Workers). It was founded in 1968 and renamed "Izquierda Nacionalista" (IN, Nationalist Left) in 1984, although running in the 1989 municipal elections under its old name. It was formed in the southern highlands, where it is strongest. The party holds seats in the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies, and won the 1986 and 1989 municipal elections in Arequipa, Peru's second largest city, as well as in other places such as the southern city of Moquegua. It claims to represent Peru's indigenous ancestral identity.

At the same time, the President and his currently ruling party, the "Alianza Popular Revolucionaria Americana" (APRA, American Popular Revolutionary Alliance), have been described by various reports as "leftist" and "centre-left".

General elections took place in 1985, with the IU coalition obtaining the second largest number of votes both for Congress and President. Although Alan García (APRA) did not obtain the absolute majority (that is, more than 50 percent of the votes) required for being automatically declared president, IU candidate Alfonso Barrantes declined to participate in a run-off election, since he considered his votes were too few (approximately 20 percent, vs. García's 45 percent) to justify the second election's cost. Although having lost the support of the ASI parties, the IU won in a significant number of districts and provinces in the November 1989 municipal elections. The Izquierda Nacionalista also improved its position in these elections. APRA suffered a serious setback: after winning a large majority of municipalities in 1986, it finished a distant third at the 1989 polls.

For general information on political events in Peru in 1985, please refer to sources available at your regional Documentation Centre such as The Europa World Year Book, the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1985 and its corresponding Critique by Human Rights Watch, Encyclopedia of the Third World and other documents on Peru. For 1989, in addition to the information presented above, please find attached the following documents (as we informed you by telephone, one of the attachments is in Spanish):
-"Left is no longer a united front", in Latin American Weekly Report, 23 March 1989, pp. 10-11;
-"Unofficial Regional Election Results Announced", Lima Television Peruana [Spanish], 14 November 1989, (FBIS-LAT-89-219, pp. 67-68);
-Caretas (Peruvian weekly newsmagazine), 14 November 1989: "Los otros ganadores", pp. 18-19 (gives unofficial results of municipal elections in the province of Lima), and "Derrota de las Izquierdas" (Defeat of the Lefts; an editorial comment on the Peruvian leftist political groups, a brief review of their recent history, performance and possibilities in the near future), p. 25.