aThe Shining Path
(Flag of the Communist Party of Peru)
The Shining Path known as the Communist Party of Peru, is a Maoist guerrilla insurgent organization in Peru. When it first launched the internal conflict in Peru in 1980, its stated goal was to replace what it saw as bourgeois democracy with "New Democracy".
Shining Path was born in the Andean department of Ayacucho, which is one of the nation‟s poorest and most forgotten regions. Ayacucho is located in 24 the southern highlands of Peru where the levels of poverty and education are one of the lowest in the whole nation. The Shining Path was founded in the late 1960s by Abimael Guzmán, a former university philosophy professor (referred to by his followers by his nom de guerre Presidente Gonzalo). His teachings created the foundation of its militant Maoist doctrine. It was an offshoot of the Communist Party of Peru — Bandera Roja (red flag), which in turn split from the original Peruvian Communist Party, a derivation of the Peruvian Socialist Party founded by José Carlos Mariátegui in 1928 The Shining Path first established a foothold at San Cristóbal of Huamanga University, in Ayacucho, where Guzmán taught philosophy. Between 1973 and 1975, Shining Path members gained control of the student councils in the Universities of Huancayo and La Cantuta, and developed a significant presence in the National University of Engineering in Lima and the National University of San Marcos, the oldest university in the Americas. Sometime later, it lost many student elections in the universities, and then decided to abandon recruiting at the universities and reconsolidate. Beginning on March 17, 1980, the Shining Path held a series of clandestine meetings in Ayacucho, known as the Central Committee's second plenary. It formed a "Revolutionary Directorate" that was political and military in nature, and ordered its militias to transfer to strategic areas in the provinces to start the "armed struggle". The group also held its "First Military School" where members were instructed in military tactics and weapons use. Aims:
The Shining Path believed that by imposing a dictatorship of the proletariat, inducing cultural revolution, and eventually sparking world revolution, they could arrive at pure communism. Their representatives said that existing socialist countries were revisionist, and claimed to be the vanguard of the world communist movement.
Acts of terror in the past:
The Shining Path terrorized Peru with kidnapping, assassinations, bombings, beheadings and massacres. Some examples of acts of terror are the guerilla war on May 17, 1980, the Lucanamarca massacre on April 3, 1983 and the Tarata bombing on July 16, 1992 Guzman’s statement in support of violence was particularly striking. On April 19, 1980, the Shining Path’s leader declared, “The future lies in guns and cannons.” One of his guerilla followers praised the use of violence: “Blood makes us stronger … and if it is flowing, it is not harming us, but giving us strength.” The organization openly stated that its struggle was built on the use of violence and debated how this could increased in Peru. When Peru's military government allowed elections for the first time in a dozen years in 1980, the Shining Path was one of the few leftist political groups that declined to take part. It chose to begin guerrilla war in the highlands of Ayacucho Region. On May 17, 1980, on the eve of the presidential elections, it burned ballot boxes in the town of Chuschi. As a result, some 30,000 Peruvians were killed in the conflict. It was the first "act of war" by the Shining Path. In April 1983, Shining Path militants responded to the death of Olegario Curitomay by entering the province of Huancasancos and the towns of Yanaccollpa, Ataccara, Llacchua, Muylacruz, and Lucanamarca, and killed 69 people. Of those killed by the Shining Path, eighteen were children, the youngest of whom was only six months old. Also killed were...
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