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Sendero Luminoso

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Introduction

Chantel Pomerville IB History / Barth IA Rough Draft Sendero Luminoso One of the first, primitive communist societies was the Incan empire. Under strong dictatorial rule and an organized system, the Incas survived centuries in the harsh Andean climate. When faced with Spanish dominance in political and social areas in the 1780's, the people revolted under Tupac Amaru II. The fight against the Spanish continued through the 1800's with major battles in Ayacucho, a place later to be used by the Shining Path, or Sendero Luminoso's leader Abimael Guzman, to spawn the new revolution. The fight for independence continued with Jos� Carlos Mariategui, who founded the Peruvian Communist Party (PCP) in the 1920's. Through the 1960's, peasants formed unions and separate communities from the haciendas of the Catholic Church, and seized land from them (Strong 46-50). Yet, these mini revolts did not survive for long, due to the lack of the peasant's organization and commitment. They did not feel connected to their guerrilla leaders. Guzm�n observed and learned from Ayacucho. Ayacucho was a city with three-fourths agrarian laborers. Its high number of indigent people and uneducated Indians were easy converts to the Marxist-Leninist-Maoist ideas of Guzm�n. ...read more.

Middle

In February of 1970, a further split took place between the pro Soviet communists and the followers of Gonzalo thought, and Guzm�n's group assumed the leadership of the Communist Party of Peru. A process of incorporating Maoist principles and many of the lessons of the Cultural Revolution, took place for the next several years. From 1972 to 75, the PCP grew and solidified. In 1974, Gonzalo took the Sendero underground as they prepared for revolutionary warfare. With a new base in Lima, the influence of the Sendero had spread to many state universities. (Ellenbogen 101-3). Decisions became standardized from the top, and the choice to begin the war was made in 1979, any who rejected the idea were expelled from the party as revisionists (Strong 47,52). By 1976, "the Communist Party of Peru was reconstructed and became a party of a new type, Marxist-Leninist-Maoist." (Palmer 79). In the same year, the PCP sent many cadres to the countryside to encourage and expand political work, in preparation for the planned insurgency that was to ultimately overthrow the government, and establish communism. In the short run, the rebellions were aimed to take control of cities and convert more people to the revolution. ...read more.

Conclusion

United States citizens did not have an overwhelming interest in Peruvian foreign policy. However, the CIA did give aid to the GEIN, the group that captured Guzm�n in 1992, and helped force democratization (McClintock 238). Under President Bush, stopping cocaine traffic was a far greater priority. He proposed a $35.9 million military aid package for Peru, but was rejected by President Garcia, and finally accepted by Fujimori in1991. Even with this program, the most influential programs in stopping the Sendero were covert operations from the CIA (McClintock 248). Sendero Luminoso's influence on Peru was significantly lessened when Gonzalo was captured on September 12 of 1992. His death destroyed the mystique and leadership of the Shining Path, much like Mexico's capture of Subcommandante Marcos. The Shining Path continues. After his capture, Guzm�n made his 'Speech from a Cage' on September 24th, 1992. In this, he states, "This is merely a bend in the road. Nothing more! A bend along the road. The road is long and we will travel it to the end. We will reach our goal and we will win! You will see it!" (Guzm�n 1). He states that the Sendero will continue on with its sixtieth military campaign, and continue its fight. But the influence of the Shining Path will never be the same without the strong, mysterious leadership of Abimael Guzm�n. ...read more.

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