All About Founder And Leader Of Shining Path Rebel Group In Peru Abimael Guzmán Dies In Jail
Peruvians can hardly forget the 1980s. This was the time when the ‘cost of human life’ was over. Public killings, bombings and massacres became common. This time in the history of the country has been written with ‘red colour’, the same red color which is of blood, the same red color which is the symbol of communist flag all over the world. About 70 thousand people died or went missing in this bloody, violent and barbaric conflict that lasted for about 10 years. It was a bloody conflict between the government and the Maoist guerrilla group. The name of this group, which had crossed all limits to gain power, was the Shining Path rebel, which was founded by Abimael Guzmán.
Guzmán was one of the most brutal and feared leaders in history. Today he is being talked about because he has passed away at the age of 86. Guzmán, once a professor of philosophy, breathed his last in prison. He was arrested in 1992 on charges of terrorism and sedition and then sentenced to life imprisonment. In July, Guzman was transferred from prison to hospital after he complained of health issues. After Guzmán’s arrest, his group suffered a setback but it did not end and its members are claimed to be active in different areas to this day. Today we will tell you about the ‘dark chapter’ of Peru when the guerrilla group and Abimel Guzmán were active in the country.
Raised up in Amiri, professor became ‘terrorist’
Guzmán was born near Mollendo on the southern coast of Peru in December 1934. It was not that due to lack, the spark of rebellion got air within him. His childhood was equipped with all kinds of amenities. Guzmán’s mother had passed away early. For his studies, he went to a private Catholic secondary school and later joined a university in Arequipa. Here he prepared his research on the German philosopher Immanuel Kant. It was here that his inclination towards Marxism started increasing during his studies. As time passed, by 1962 he had joined the job of a professor at Ayacucho’s San Cristóbal of Huamanga National University. How did a boy from an affluent family who never saw scarcity, a professor doing a good job and a scholar suddenly become the leader of a rebel group?
Returned from China and made Shining Path
The year was 1965, Guzman traveled to China. Here he was greatly influenced by the communist leader Mao Zedong. In this his old tendency towards Marxism also played an important role. Coming back, he inspired those in the university who were ideologically similar to him. Eventually in 1969 Guzmán and 11 other people formed the Shining Path rebel group. He named his group inspired by the Peruvian communist leader José Carlos Mariátegui. Mariátegui said, ‘Marxism-Leninism is the shining path of the future’.
An army of 10,000 fighters overthrew the government
The rebel group, which raised its head against power, had become a guerrilla group by the 80s and its bloody conflict with the Peruvian government had begun. Gradually Guzmán’s army grew and the fight against the government became stronger. There was a time in the 1980s when some 10,000 insurgents of Guzmán brought the government to its knees. Peru could hardly forget the massacre that took place during this period. Human life had no value. Reports claim that around 70,000 people were put to death or went missing. In 1992, Guzmán, along with his partner Elena Iparraguirre, was arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment by the Secret Military Court. His arrest dealt a major blow to the group and the number of members was reduced to a few hundred.
crossed all limits to establish communist rule
Inspired by Maoism, the guerrilla group launched a ‘people’s war’ to overthrow Peru’s ‘capitalist democracy’ and establish a communist state. The sun of Guzmán’s movement rose to the skies in the 80s. In 1980, the military government, ruling the country for 12 years, announced the conduct of democratic elections. Shining Path not only boycotted the election but also disrupted the election process by burning ballot boxes. Shining Path wanted to establish communist rule in the country. So he was against democratic elections. The group occupied some rural areas and imposed their brutal rule there. Many villagers were killed on suspicion of helping the government. The group spread its fear by publicly killing people. It could also be remembered as a terrorist group in that era and looking at today’s Afghanistan can be remembered as the Peru of the 80s. Guzmán’s movement had gone awry. The killings were increasing continuously. Years of barbaric massacres and car bombings brought the government to its knees.
69 people were killed with an ax
The government declared a state of emergency and local militias, known as ‘Rondas’, were deployed to fight against the rebels. To remove the Shining Path from the rural areas, the army conducted operations, the victims of which were already harassed villagers, but now a large number of people were with the government and the army. The public killings brought people up against the Shining Path. The most barbaric of these is 1983, which no Peruvian would want to remember. 69 people from Santiago de Lucanamarca and the surrounding area were put to death with axes, daggers and guns in protest against the killing of a Shining Path commander. The atrocities of this group were not limited to rural areas only. In 1992, a Shining Path bombing blew up two trucks in Lima’s Miraflores district, killing 25 and injuring more than 155.
Judges sentenced by wearing masks
The door of the ‘red storm’ going on in Peru was in the hands of Guzmán. The end of Peru’s ‘dark chapter’ began in September 1992, when Peruvian intelligence arrested Guzmán at a dance studio in Lima. Authorities suspected that the rebels were hiding in an apartment. This suspicion was further strengthened when it was said that the owner of the apartment was dancer Maritza Garrido Lecca. She claimed that she lived alone but the apartment was too big for one person to live in. In a raid by agents, he found medicine for psoriasis, a skin disease that Guzman was battling. The authorities arrested Guzmán along with his second wife, Elena Iparraguirre, and a few other rebels. It is said that he was watching boxing on TV at the time of his arrest. The judges wore face masks when Guzmán was sentenced to life in prison. In 1993, some 6000 members of the group surrendered and the bloodiest movement in Peru’s history came to an end. The last page of this book also closed today with the death of Guzmán.
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