Report about the situation of the political prisoners from the Revolutionary Movement
To the organisations present at the Berlin conference
for humanity and against neo-liberalism.
1.-The maximum security prison in the naval base of Callao. Among those imprisoned in this maximum security prison are:Victor Polay Campos member of the national directorate of the MRTA and general commander of the People's Army Tupac Amaru(EPT);Maria Lucero Cumpa Miranda, member of the national directorate of the MRTA and commander in the guerrilla; and
Peter Cardenas Schulte,member of the national directorate.
All of the above have been condemned to life imprisonment after brief trials in front of a faceless military tribunal (the judges are masked).The charges they faced were ,terrorism and betrayal of the fatherland"-an invention of the dictatorship,designed to ,legalize" its continual violations of international treaties
and agreements,which have been signed by Peru and supported by the congress
of the Republic.These include :the International Declaration Of Human Rights,
the American Declaration of the Rights and Responsibilities of Man,the
American Convention of Human Rights,the International Pact of Political and Civil
Rights,and the Convention against Torture and others,not to mention the Peruvian
Conditions in the prison at the naval base of Callao.
Construction was finished by the Fujimori dictatorship in March of 1993 and it is one of the
greatest demonstrations of its irracionality and lack
of respect for human dignity.
It is located within the military installation of the marines,inside the naval base
in the port of Callao,near Lima.
It has been described as a ,tomb for the living",and its purpose is the physical,
psychgological and moral destruction of our prisoners.Furthemore,it is part of the
attempt to intimidate anyone who dares to stand up against
It complies with a program originated in the darkest recesses of the army and secret
service,designed to hinder,through fear, the formation of a revolutionary
coordination of the Peruvian people,and it is accompanied by a selection of measures
of control,coercion and repression,known as the ,socio-psychological
This omionous prison-tomb contains eight cells made of reinforced concrete,which
are located 8metres below ground.This is part of the attempt to destroy the
inmates:physical isolation,audio-isolation,visual isolation,darkness,lack of space
and permanent maximum control.It is fitted with bugs and other surveillance systems,
alarms,mines in various locations and permanently operating video cameras;
which are monitored from a central control room.What's more there are walls with
watch towers occupied by marines ,who are armed with long
range rifles-FAL(made in Belgium.)
The cells are rectangular and measure 2m by 3m.On one side there is a heavy metal door
closed by interlocking bolts,the keys of which are in the possession of different people
,all officers of the marine's security corps.
On the lower part of these doors there is a small rectangular window,through which food is
passed.It is designed so that our prisoners have no contact
with the screws.
Inside each cell,next to the door there is a basin and toilet.The supplies of
water are controlled from the outside and are subject to time limitations.There
is no electric light,the cells are always completely or
There is a 15 cm slot above the door of each cell at a height of about 2m,which allows
natural light to enter for some minutes of the day.
The cells are grouped in fours around two small yards.Each cell faces another and
has one to its side.These groups are located,as has been said,in holes dug 8m into
When our comrades were moved to this prison tomb,they were drugged with
sedatives,so they lost their sense of time and could have no idea as to where
the cells were located.
Thirty minutes recreation on the yard.
The prisoners are allowed 30 minutes every twenty four hours alone on
the yard,where they may walk around ,read the bible or
watch prepared videos.
Correspondence and access to information.
All correspondence is meticulously controlled by security.There is no right of
correspondence.The inmates are allowed no access to books.magazines or
newspapers,nor are they allowed to watch television or
listen to the radio.
These are permitted once a month and last for 30 mins.Only close family
members may visit.Inmates are allowed no physical contact with the visitors
and the conversations are conducted via electrical audio equipment through
shielded glass.All the conversations are taped.The visitors may bring clothes
and food in cans to the inmates.All such things go through an exhaustive
security check.The visitors reach the prison in hermetically sealed vehicles
which allow them no opportunity to identify where the
The attempt to force ,a peace agreement."
Having put our prisoners in total isolation,the government,via its intermediary
Vladimiro Montesinos,offered to improve the conditions of the prisoners in
return for signing ,a peace agreement".This would include opening a dialogue
with the government and the renunciation of the armed struggle.This offer,was
made personally by Montesinos to general commander Polay Campos and was
immediately rejected.The government official reacted angrily and threatened
to have our comrade shot.This rejection was followed by those of our other
imprisoned comrades and the dictatorship responded by making prison
Those who did submit to government pressure have received priveleges
from the authorities.
2 The maximum security prison at
This prison was designated as being ,maximimum security" in 1990 and is located
in the southerly department(region) of Puno at an altitiude of 3,800 m above
sea level.The climate is cold,with temperatures around 15 c during the two months
of summer and going down to -10 c during the winter(which lasts all the rest of
the year.)This prison is built in the middle of a high Andian plateau and is an island
in a desert of lonliness.It covers an area of approximately 10,000 sq.m.On the outside
a force of a hundred ,black berets" has control ,and the complex is guarded
by deployments of troops in trenches and armoured vehicles,lorries,vans and two
helicopters,not to mention a mine field on the perimeter.Internal security is the
responsibility of 300 members of elite sections of the
The prison is made of reinforced concrete and brick.It consists of various
wings,each with its own separate yard.MRTA prisoners are
held in Wing 4a.
The cells measure 3m by 3m and house two inmates.There are toilets and sinks,but
the possession of radio or tv is forbidden,as is cooking.The windows are unglassed
and the door is a heavy metal grill,which means our comrades are constantly exposed
to the cold mountain winds.This leads to continual health problems of the lungs,throat
Following a decree of the dictatorship all new inmates must spend a year
in complete isolation.After this they are kept in their cells for 23 and a
half hours a day,with half an hour recreation on a small yard where
not more than 14 prisoners are allowed at one time.No newspapers
or magazines are allowed and all books,which must be brought by
relatives, must first be censured and then may only be kept in the prison
No tools are permitted in the cells.
Punishments, which the screws can give out as they wish include:isolation in a 1m/2m
cell with no light for up to 48 days,or the stopping of
visits or recreation time.
The prison spends the equivelant of 60 cents(of an american dollar) per person
per day on food and the quality is poor..Inmates have suffered drastic weight lose,
which has lead to problems with their digestive systems and tuberculosis.Visitors
are allowed to give food but the distant location of the prison means that
most families can only afford to visit once year.
Only immediate family members are allowed to visit and require a special ,visitors
card".No physical contact is allowed and conversation must be made loudly as the
speakers are separated bz two grills with a large gap in between.Screws walk
around the room continuosly during visits.
3 The maximimum security prison
at Castro Castro.
This prison is located in the outskirts of Lima and was a model of high security
until a detachment of MRTA members managed to liberate our comrades by the
use of a 315m tunnel in 1990.
Under Fujimori security has been increased.Soldiers are responsibile for security
outside and the police inside,many of them wear hoods
to disguise their identities.
A great problem in this prison is overcrowding,as three prisoners must occupy a
space of 6 sq. m along with their toilet for 23 and a
half h.rs a day.
In these conditions there are great health problems ,such as: bronchial and lung
complaints,problems with digestive system and tuberculosis.It is difficult
to get medical attention and there are problems for relatives bringing food
to the jail.Only precooked food or fruit may be brought to the prisoners
and it must be consumed immediately.
Within the prison,as in the others, there is a room where the military trials
are conducted by masked judges.The prisoners are brought in hooded and
torture and maltreatment are common.
4 The maximum security prison at
In the centre of Lima there is a prison for women accused of terrorist offences.
Although some of the staff is female,the security service is all male.This is the
greatest difference from the other prisons,but everything
else is the same.
It consists of three wings, each with three stories.On each of the floors
there is line of adjacent cells ,which lead onto a narrow passage,from which
the prison yards can be seen through a few small windows.
The cells are 2m/3m and on one side there are two bunks directly in front
of a sink and wash basin.A comrade made the following denunciation to
a visiting delegation from the International Red Cross:"It is prohibited to
have a comb,a mirror,a photo,a letter,listen to music,watch television,or
listen to the radio;it is prohibited to talk about politics or current events;
it is forbidden to read,write,smoke..."
These cases reflect the conditions throughout Peru,such as in jails like
Due to theses conditions,and the violation of basic human rights we
ask that the Solidarity organisations,non-governmental organisations
and political organisations.....present here make declarations against this
contemptous abuse of human dignity.