Wednesday, October 14

Terrorism has returned to Peru?

Arguably, it may have never left. The domestic terrorist group Sendero Luminoso, or Shining Path, was very active during the 1980s and early 1990s, killing an estimated 70,000 Peruvians.

With an iron fist, Peruvian President Fujimori extinguished the movement in the early 1990s. (He was recently sentenced to 25 years in prison for human rights abuses, including the murder of nine students and one teacher at a Lima university.)

While the group has not been very active since the capture of it's leader, Abimael Guzman, reports from Peru this year are stirring up questions about the group's resurgence.

The Shining Path retreated to the ungovernable jungle terrain, where it is said to have reformed, using this time the drug trade to prop up it's efforts.  There have been various attacks on military bases and police stations in the VRAE (Apurimac and Ene River Valley) region of Peru. But there is also the opinion that these attacks are specifically drug cartels, not the original Shining Path.

If you're interested, I found this good analysis of the different perspectives on the Shining Path today on Global Voices.

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