An imprisoned rebel leader, who fell ill a few months ago, died at the age of 86.
Abimael Guzman, leader of the Luminoso sect, or Shining Path, a terrorist group that is about to invade Peru by exchanging Maoist blood, has died in prison, the government said. He was 86 years old.
Guzman was arrested in 1992 in the Peruvian capital, Lima, and spent the rest of his life in prison after being convicted of “terrorism”.
Susana Silva, Peru’s prison warden, told RPP radio on Saturday that Guzman had fallen ill in recent months and had been released from hospital in early August.
He said his health had deteriorated over the past two days, without further ado, adding that Guzman was expected to receive medical treatment on Saturday but died in his room at 6:40 am local time (11:40 GMT).
A former professor of philosophy, Guzman was a lifelong communist who traveled to China in the late 1960s and was intrigued by Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution. He was determined to bring Mao communism to Peru through the war he started in 1980.
Guzman established the Shining Path, transforming it from a poor group of students and regular students into a powerful rebel group. About 69,000 people, mostly in the impoverished region of Peru, were killed between 1980 and 2000 in the civil war sparked by the Shining Path.
Path’s courageous and steadfast scrutiny, his gang of spies and spies, and Guzman’s magical ability to avoid arrest gave him a well-known reputation in all places at the same time.
His followers called Guzman the Fourth Sword of Marxism, after Marx, Lenin and Mao, and worshiped him in transition songs, songs, posters and writings.
He studied law and philosophy at the University of San Agustin in Arequipa, where he wrote two papers: Theory of Space in Kant and another in the Democratic-Bourgeois State.
“Guzman was a man of extraordinary intelligence, highly educated, very talented,” recalls Miguel Rodriguez Rivas, one of his professors.
His few writings, though not appreciated by Marxist scholars, served as a compilation of Shining Path followers who repeated his claims as biblical truths.
After Guzman was arrested by police at the Lima Security Barracks in 1992 and sentenced to life in prison, the Shining Path fell heavily as a military threat, although the remains are still there. In 2018, Guzman was given a second prison sentence for a 1992 car bombing in Lima that killed 25 people.
Guzman’s first wife, Augusta La Torre, died tragically in the late 1980’s. In 2010, he married his ex-girlfriend, Elena Iparraguirre, who, like Guzman, is serving a life sentence. Both women were Shining Path leaders.