Correspondent in Lima
The leader of the Maoist terrorist band Sendero Luminoso Abimael Guzman Reinoso, 86, died of septicemia in his cell after being hospitalized several times in recent months in a Lima hospital, after carrying out more than one hunger strike in protest because he was denied the conjugal right to meet his now widow, Elena Iparraguirre, number two in the organization.
«On Saturday, September 11 at approximately 6.40 am at the Maximum Security Detention Center of the Callao Naval Base Inmate Abimael Guzmán Reinoso has died due to complications in his state of health, “said the National Penitentiary Institute of Peru this Saturday.
After the confirmation of Guzmán’s death, the Public Ministry is expected to collect the body and transfer it to the Lima morgue, where according to Peruvian law, his widow, imprisoned with a life sentence like her husband, will decide what to do with his rests. Guzmán’s death will provoke a debate never held in Peru on the possibility or not that the leader of the mad terrorist gang, Shining Path, is buried in a Peruvian cemetery.
A murderer died
«You have to understand that today a murderer (Abimael Guzmán) died. The damage it has caused is enormous in many ways and the death it has caused so far in the country is very great in many communities in the country, “the professor and specialist on terrorist violence told ABC. Maria Eugenia Ulfe, while adding, “should lead us to think as a society how we have been able to create a person as despicable as that.”
On May 17, 1980, the Shining Path terrorist gang led a war against the Peruvian State that lasted more than a decade and where, according to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (CVR), about 70,000 Peruvians died and there are, until the date, more than 20,000 disappeared.
Although the internal armed conflict, a term that the CVR coined to describe what happened in Peru between 1980 and 2000, has ended, its ravages continue to this day where there are organizations allied to the Shining Path that do not recognize their crimes and have politically penetrated the state.
According to the Truth Commission report, Shining Path was responsible for 54% of the nearly 70,000 deaths during the period of violence that lasted between 1980 and 2000. Abimael Guzmán was considered by his followers as the fourth sword of the revolution after Karl Marx, Lenin and Mao Tse Tung.
«The peasant communities of Lucanamarca (in Ayacucho) are the first to rise up against the Shining Path in the summer of 1983 and that is very powerful, because the State did not do it. That is why they receive the insane violence of the Shining Path (a massacre where the senderistas murdered 69 people with machetes) and then the extrajudicial violence of the Armed Forces arrived in the region. They were between two fires and then the permanent oblivion of the State returned ”, explains María Eugenia Ulfe.
On September 12, 1992, Abimael Guzman and Elena Iparraguirre were arrested by the Special Intelligence Group (GEIN) and from that time they were detained in a special jail built within the Callao Naval Base, until Elena Iparraguirre was separated from her husband in 2004 and placed in the maximum security jail located in Ancón, north of Lime.
Abimael Guzmán Reinoso was a professor of philosophy at the San Cristóbal de Huamanga University in Ayacucho (east of Lima), where he married Augusta Latorre and with whom he formed what would become the terrorist band Sendero Luminoso and who began to recruit his followers from the late sixties. During the internal war that the Shining Path started against the State, Augusta La Torre died in circumstances that have never been clarified and years later, Abimael Guzmán married Elena Iparraguirre, number two in the organization, in prison.
An organization that splashes the current government
The consequences of what the Shining Path meant are still being experienced in Peru, as shown in the request for interpellation from Congress to the current Minister of Labor, Iber Maravi, who has been accused of belonging to the founding apparatus of the Shining Path in Ayacucho, according to revealed the newspaper ‘La República’.
«Maravi belonged to the founding apparatus of SL in Ayacucho, according to all the publications we have made in Ayacucho and Lima. The minister does not want to show his face to answer about the group of which he was part, where he was head of Edith Lagos, and after many of his group escaped from jail in April 1982, some of them carried out terrorist attacks in Lima » , the journalist told ABC Angel Paéz from ‘The Republic’.
In addition to Minister Maravi, the Prime Minister of Peru, Guido Bellido, is investigated for apology of terrorism when referring to the late Edith Lagos during a television interview in Cuzco, as “a person who at a certain moment in the country took a position. In a process where there was a denomination and a tremendous mistreatment of the people.