Communism in Peru

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Several different left-oriented organizations refer to themselves as the Communist Party of Peru (in Spanish: Partido Comunista del Perú) or similar names. Some are still active, others have disappeared and some joined the ranks of Shining Path or the MRTA, which participated in the internal conflict in Peru. Many of the parties are known by nicknames relating to their respective newspapers.

According to, the oldest communist party in Peru is the Partido Comunista Peruano (PCP - Unidad),[1] founded in 1928, by José Carlos Mariátegui, under the name Partido Socialista del Perú.[2] In 1930 the name was changed to PCP. PCP is often identified as PCP [Unidad], to separate it from other parties with similar names. Jorge Del Prado was the general secretary between 1966 and 1991. The main political base of PCP-Unidad is currently located at Plaza Ramón Castilla, Lima and is led by Renán Raffo Muñoz. PCP publishes Unidad ("Unity") and Nuestra Bandera ("Our Banner").[2]

Another party that also considers itself the Communist Party of Peru is the Partido Comunista del Perú – Patria Roja,[3] founded in 1970, and now, as of 2006, headed by Alberto Moreno. It descends from the mainstream fraction of PCP-Bandera Roja, which, in turn, originated as a Maoist fraction within the Partido Comunista Peruano.[2]

Both PCP-Bandera Roja and PCP-Unidad are named after their traditional press organs. The name "PCP-Unidad" is an informal designation; the official name of the PCP-Unidad is simply "Partido Comunista Peruano". There was a fraction called PCP-Mayoría around 1980: its members considered that PCP-Unidad had taken a Eurocommunist turn, while they themselves preferred a more hard-line Soviet stance.

There are a few more groups that also consider themselves the Communist Party of Peru. The best known is the group generally referred to as the "Shining Path" (a name which the group itself does not use).[2] This armed group, regarded by Peru as a terrorist organization, is an offshoot of PCP-Bandera Roja, having splintered from it in the early 1970s.[2] The "Shining Path" considers PCP-Patria Roja and PCP-Unidad to be revisionist; it has assassinated several of their militants and elected officials.

Political parties that have used the name

The Peruvian Communist Party was founded with the name of Peruvian Socialist Party (Partido Socialista del Perú) by José Carlos Mariátegui, and is considered the first Communist Party in Peru.

Some political parties that also claimed the name (or its true meaning):

The United Left movement was a loose alliance of several of these leftist parties that gained a strong political presence in the 1980s.