Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias 1973
Source: Centro de Doumentacion de Movimientos Armados (cedema.org);
First Published: in “Militancia Perónista para la liberacion” no. 22;
Translated: for marxists.org by Mitchell Abidor;
CopyLeft: Creative Commons (Attribute & ShareAlike) marxists.org 2011.
March 11, 1973
“We haven’t joined Peronism. Peronism isn’t a club or a bourgeois political party that one can join. Fundamentally, Peronism is an experience of our people, and what we are doing today is discovering that we have always been part of it. Or to put it differently: Retracing the path of ambiguities and misunderstandings, because of which in some phases of our lives we weren’t able comprehend that we have always been integrated with it in the sense every man who identifies with the interests of the majority is integrated to the experience of his people. But not only the quantitative majority; rather with those who by their condition, by their place in the productive process, are the only ones who can lead a society without exploitation.”
(Report of the FAR, reproduced in “Cristianismo y revolucion,” 4th yr, No. 28, April 1971)
On November 3, 1971 at approximately 7:00 AM there took place in Ferreyra, Cordoba an unequal encounter that history called “the combat of Ferreyra, or the Slaughterhouse, or the Combat at Fiat.’ There died fighting Juan Carlos Baffi, militant of the FAR and Raul Juan Peressini of the FAP. And wounded, Carlos Enrique Olmedo and Agustin Villagra, both of the FAR, were murdered by the provincial police.
The operational plan brought together the necessary conditions of imagination and opportunity; the military dictatorship had set in motion the occupation of the Fiat industrial complex, surrounding the Materfer and Concord plants on October 26, had removed the personnel of Sitran-Sitrac and unleashed persecutions and raids, all on the orders of Gen. Alcides Lopez Aufranc.
For its part FIAT, within this repressive context, attempting to liquidate the union organization, had fired 246 of the most battle hardened workers: the body of delegates and activists. From this there grew the plan of the operation: detain a high functionary of FIAT and in exchange for his freedom demand the return of the union personnel, the rehiring of the fired, and an end to the military occupation.
The unforeseen delay of the company executive at the place where the compañeros were located made the operation uncertain, but it remained unchanged. An employee of the Esso service station told the police of a presence he considered suspicious, and with this information the repressive forces attacked, producing the deaths of the combatants. This was a hard blow for the Perónist organizations, not only for the loss in militant political quality of the dead compañeros, but also because starting with this there occurred new casualties, some mortal, like those of Miguel Angel Castilla, and arrests like those of Maria Antonia Berger, Eduardo I. Rovas, and Teofilo E. Arrasceta, with the consequent loss of weapons, documents, bases, etc.
That was two years ago. We have already written about the revolutionary condition of the compañeros who died there, belonging to two organizations, FAR and FAP, who together with other organizations have set their brand on the military dictatorship. We would today like to reflect on the situation at the moment of their deaths and that in which we are now living.
There is the Esso station, as on the day of the combat, with its view of all of Cordoba, amidst the gray scenery, ready for the tragedy. Esso symbolizing the presence of the empire and the scout possibly still working at the very place, possibly even with the false consciousness of having “done his duty"’ Near the service station the slaughterhouse symbolic in its cow like presence. It is from this confluence of Esso with the oligarchy that grew the real reactionary power that the compañeros confronted the morning of November 3, 1971
There, too, is the Fiat complex, European capital, whose bounties the companeros knew so well during that year of 1971.
And defending all this structure, the Army, that of Lopez Aufranc or the general of the day, torturing, repressing, assassinating.
Some of these presences are clearly visible today. Other are latent. It is also certain that in the service station there is pasted up a poster of the JTP, that Obregon is governor, and Perón president. That the slogans that the muchachos fought for have been realized in part. Perón has returned, he’s president, the military dictatorship has disappeared from the formal government, and the Montonoeros and the FAR have unified.
But Esso, the cows, Fiat, are still there. There has been an advance by Peronism, by the revolution with the consequent retreat of the enemy, but the war laid bare in the combat in Ferreyra still exists in all its terms.
Is here any qualitative difference between the massacre at Ezeiza and the one at Trelew? Do the deaths of Jose Olmedo, Tin Villagra, and Blackie Baffi differ basically from those of Grinberg, Razzetti, and Fredes?
...The system maintains its structure whole, but in the period of open conflict there has been produced, in exchange, a substantial modification. As a result of the popular struggles among which the combat at Ferreyra is inscribed, the enemy has surrendered the state apparatus, but has preserved all decisional power. And not only this.
Since they know that the class struggle can’t be held back, and that it is fundamental , so that the popular war not prosper, that the identification of the enemy be extremely difficult, that they must hinder any attempt to give a political determination and identity to this class struggle, the repressive role was given to the right wing of Peronism , to fulfill the function that the police forces fulfilled at Ferreyra.
The ceding of the state apparatus, even if it was passed to the popular movement, to Peronism, by the acts of the System remains in the hands, at least in a large part, to those sectors allied to the System. It naturally rests with the representatives of the system, like the union bureaucrats whose links to the enemy in this phase are made manifest. The people will identify its enemies in this new period of the popular war and understand that that which appears an internal conflict within Peronism is not just a simple power struggle within the Movement, but rather the formulation of the war in new terms. As this difficult phase unfurls, the armed forces will be recovering the image and the force needed to produce new Ferreyras when necessary. While the class struggle acquires relevance within Pereonism itself, the military, big monopoly capital, Esso, Fiat, and the oligarchy is placing its bets on the union bureaucrats, the Osindes, and the Lopez Regas.
Assuming today the reality of this war with the same patriotism as Olmedo, Villagra, Baffi, Peressini, with the combativeness of Jose Sabino Navarro and Skinny Capuano, with the imagination of Fernado Abal and Carlos Gustavo, with the courage of the Maestres, finding oneself in this Argentina of Perón as president in the same Perónist experience as the people, and giving the best of oneself is the message today of the combat at Ferreyra.