- Title: Peruvians commemorate 29th anniversary of rebel leader's capture
- Date: 13th September 2021
- Summary: LIMA, PERU (SEPTEMBER 12, 2021) (REUTERS) PROTESTERS HOLDING SIGNS AND FLAGS AT DEMONSTRATION TO COMMEMORATE THE 1992 CAPTURE OF REBEL GROUP SHINING PATH'S FOUNDER, ABIMAEL GUZMAN PROTESTERS MARCHING AND CHANTING (Spanish): "No to terrorism, yes to democracy" PROTESTERS MARCHING AND CHANTING (Spanish): "Terrorism nevermore" VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS CHANTING AND HOLDING PERUVIAN FLAGS (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) WITNESS OF TARATA BOMBING, VANESSA QUIROGA, SAYING: "We were standing against the wall seeing how Tarata (a street in Lima) was on fire. It was pure destruction. People were asking for help, they were running with their faces full of blood. The floor was covered in glass. It was a Dante-esque image. Terrible. It seemed as if a war, a nuclear war, had taken place." VARIOUS OF PROTEST (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) DAUGHTER OF POLICE OFFICER KILLED BY SHINING PATH, GISELLA SANCHEZ, SAYING: "My father was a part of the Peruvian national police. He worked to defend democracy and national peace. He was viciously assassinated during a terrorist ambush in the Peruvian jungle. Today we know Abimael Guzman is dead, we feel justice was made for the victims of terrorism. We know he is gone from this world with his hands full of blood."
- Embargoed: 27th September 2021 02:04
- Keywords: Abimael Guzman Lima Sendero Luminoso Shining Path protest
- Location: LIMA, PERU
- City: LIMA, PERU
- Country: Peru
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,South America / Central America,Civil Unrest
- Reuters ID: LVA001EUJY6H3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS GRAPHIC IMAGES / QUALITY AS INCOMING
Peruvians commemorated the 29th anniversary of the capture of rebel leader Abimael Guzman on Sunday (September 12) - a day after the imprisoned founder of the Shining Path group died aged 86.
The demonstration was concentrated on a park in the Miraflores district of Lima.
Guzman was captured in 1992 in the capital and jailed for life after being convicted on the charge of terrorism.
A former philosophy professor, Guzman was a lifelong communist who went to China in the late 1960s and was awed by Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution.
He resolved to bring Mao's brand of communism to Peru through a class war that he launched in 1980.
Guzman founded the Sendero Luminoso, or Shining Path, transforming it from a ragtag band of peasants and radical students into Latin America's most stubborn guerrilla force.
An estimated 69,000 people, mostly in Peru's poor interior, were killed between 1980 and 2000 in the internal conflict launched by the Shining Path.
Shining Path's bold and well-planned attacks, its networks of informants and spies, and Guzman's uncanny ability to evade arrest gave him an almost legendary reputation for seeming to be in all places at once.
Armed with shotguns, dynamite, and machetes, they began attacking security forces, elected officials, and peasants who resisted their indoctrination with a fervour and ruthlessness never seen in a Latin American rebel group.
By the late 1980s, the group had become such a threat to the state that two-thirds of Peruvians lived in areas under emergency rule - essentially, martial law.
After Guzman was captured by police in Lima and sentenced to life imprisonment, the Shining Path largely collapsed as a military threat, although remnants remain to this day.
In 2018, Guzman was given a second life sentence for a 1992 Lima car bombing that killed 25 people, known as the Tarata Bombing.
The bombing on the residential street of Tarata was the Shining Path's deadliest attack on civilians in the capital, contributing to a sense of panic in the city about an insurgency that had already killed thousands of people in the remote Andes and Amazon.
It was one of the Shining Path's bloodiest attacks in Lima.
The head of Peru's prison system said that Guzman's health had worsened in recent days following a months-long illness.
He was set to receive more medical attention on Saturday but died in his cell around 6:40 a.m. local time (1140 GMT).
(Production: Carlos Valdez, Nina Lopez)
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