Shining Path: A Revolution of the Distressed
The world today is faced with many obstacles concerning all the peoples of the world. The issues range from globalization to the state of the environment with every political, economic, and human interest lying in between. It is these human interests that will be brought to light by examining the revolutions of the Incan indigenous beginning in the early part of the twentieth century. Running parallel to their North American neighbors, the native peoples of Peru have lived in seriously impecunious conditions as the result of ethno racial discrimination handed them by their colonial occupiers; Spanish speakers. These revolutions, namely Shining Path, would eventually define the gap between the rich and the poor, the 1st and 3rd worlds, and those peoples struggling with the effects of a traditional world falling into the hands of modernity. Unfortunately Shining Path, the dominant revolutionary organization, would be widely regarded as a terrorist organization as opposed to a liberation movement. This negative attitude toward Shining Path can be directly attributed to their misrepresentation of these native peoples and also to their style of warfare which has made Shining Path the great example of an ideology gone astray; leaving the hopes of its followers and the fate of the Peruvian people in the dust and rubble of its destructive wake. While the constituents of left and right wing political parties would battle each other for both power and affect throughout the first half of the twentieth century, neither end of the ideological spectrum would effectively bring about change in regard to the interests of the native Peruvian peoples. This is due largely in part to the marginalization of left wing parties as a result of their own military weakness and also the outright indifference on the part of conservatives to make serious, or even arbitrary, reforms to early constitutions. The reign of President Augusto B. Leguia came to define the first thirty years of Peruvian politics in the twentieth century. Leguia ruled as a typical right winger; his economic plans overwhelmingly benefited the states oligarchic class, leaving action in the interest of the native Incan populations to a minimum. In fact, treatment of this sector of the population was no more than sub-human in nature. Socially, he made attempts to incorporate indigenous people into the world of the free market as one aspect of his modernization program. Modernization and the free market would later come to be areas of interests to revolutionary groups of the 1970's who were beginning to look beyond the Peruvian highlands and out into a global world beyond. Ever since the time of Spanish colonial rule, Incans were being treated completely unfairly. And in the late 18th century, Peru began to see the first of its native revolutions under Jose Gabriel Tupac Amaru II in 1780. These uprisings were headed by Indian nobility who showed antipathy towards the Spanish administration as a result of being forced to subject their own people to taxes, unfair market prices, and slave labor. The Incans throughout the time of Spanish colonial rule had hopes for the renewal of their age old empire. However despite at least 100 revolts against colonialism the empire was never revived. (Strong 41) It was not until the 1920's that the Incan rebellion would make any significant progression excluding the pride they may have taken in brutal revenge and retaliation murders and massacres against Spaniards. In this decade Peru witnesses the first shift from predominantly unorganized revolution to serious political development. Although the movement known as Alianza Popular Revolucionaria Americana (APRA) was crushed under the Leguia regime, the faction was the first political party to legally call for reform in regard to the condition of the highland populations or peasantry. Strong points out that its leader, Victor Haya de la Torre, had a...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document