Peruvian Communist Terrorist YouTube Folk Songs

When he's not shooting down government helicopters, Comrade Raúl sings beautiful songs to the internet.

12 January 2011, 2:10pm

The trick for shooting down a helicopter is to aim for the propeller and the pilot at the same time. It’s the modus operandi of Sendero Luminoso, or ‘The Shining Path’, Peru’s communist terrorist group. Many members of the SL operate from hideouts in the jungle in Peru’s VRAE region, a valley between the Apurimac and Ene rivers where 90 percent of the 200,000 population are classified as either poor or extremely poor and the only telephone was cut off some time ago because no one paid the bill. There is also only one police station staffed by six policemen in the VRAE, which makes it pretty easy for drug lords to export the locally grown coca. Anyway, September marks a year since one such chopper was taken out, and, as is the norm, the number one suspect for this and a whole other bloody catalogue of maimings and killings has since become a YouTube folk guitar phenomenon.

Comrade Raúl, or Victor Quispe Palomino, is the second in command in The Shining Path’s jungle faction and has caused uproar in Peru thanks to his songs about ‘vampire Yankee colonialism’ and the positive aspects of genocidal communism.

His tunes take the form of huaynos, which backpackers will remember as that fucking annoying music which sounded like “Beethoven’s Ninth” in Clockwork Orange that every coach driver in Peru and Bolivia would feel the need to blare as they navigated particularly precarious Andean passes at 5 ‘o’ clock in the morning.

Comrade Raúl is from Ayacucho in the Andes, so will have been taught this music as a kid. He doesn’t appear to have developed his playing skills much beyond that, however; regularly more off-key than a squat ket bump, and often coming across like a deranged, Peruvian Jack Johnson. I know that if all you guys reading this were cut in half you’d bleed pink, so I’ve helpfully translated some of Comrade Raúl’s songs for you.

“Por El Socialismo” [tr. "For Socialism"]

Lyrics: “We’ve got to carry on learning from our great teachers, and the same way, from the large popular forces of our country, and the world.

“Following in the footsteps of Karl Marx the classes and the people will triumph. With the Russian revolution, Lenin achieved Socialism, together with the masses and the people. It was the victory of the inaudible in bourgeois eastern Europe. The proletariat of China – via the path of Mao Zedong – defeated the Yankee vampire and parasite colonialists, and brought socialism to Asia.”

Shame communists don’t believe in Christmas, or I’m pretty sure this guy would have been taking a call from a certain Reggie Yates a few weeks ago (if there was actually a working telephone in an 8000 mile radius).

The difference between Comrade Raúl and serious huayno stars like Sonia Morales and Anita Santivañez – apart from obvious discrepancies in terms of skill – is the bloody legacy he has left on vast swathes of the Peruvian countryside. It would be highly irresponsible not to round out your impression of Cuddly Raul Sing Sing by mentioning the ambush and killing of 12 soldiers and two civilians he’s suspected of leading in Tayacaja, Peru, a couple of years back, or the litany of other lethal attacks, mainly against the Peruvian army.

The terrorists also claim a tax from cocaine – $2 per kilo that passes through their territory, according to José Quispe Palomino, Comrade Raúl’s brother and leader of the Shining Path jungle faction. On the other hand, they claim to protect peasants living off the land in the VRAE region by buying livestock from them at high prices.

Unfortunately for these criminal anthropologists, their numbers have been dwindling since April 3rd, 1983, when they shot dead 69 civilians in cold blood at Lucanamarca.

The banality of evil? I guess the lyrics speak for themselves.

“La Lucha Es El Camino” [tr. "The Fight is the Path"]

Lyrics: “All the reactionaries, parasites of the people, will be defeated by way of the National Democratic revolution.

“The causes of the peoples will not be defeated. The power of the masses will keep growing. There is nothing in the world that can obstruct us. By overcoming difficulty, that triumph will be ours.

“All the reactionaries, parasites of the people, will never be able to beat us. Despite having all the power of the people, Inaudible, rebel hearts conquered victories.

“Such is the suffering that it shakes up rebellion. The fight is the path to peace and freedom. The fight is the path towards conquering tyrants.”

Victor Quispe Palomino: a serious sort of guy.


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