Sendero Luminoso

(Shining Path guerrillas)

Tupa Amaru guerrillas







Long-lasting guerrilla war. The war was apparently a classic communist insurgency. However, it also had features of ethnic rising.

The war was started by Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path to Communism) a Communist group modeled on that of Pol Pot which wished to remove all signs of modern culture and technology. To some extent they may have wished to reconstruct Inca civilization, a socialist pre-Colonial culture which occupied the whole Andean region of Peru and northern Chile. Should it be classified as fascist or communist? It probably doesn't matter as either way it was harmful to the people.

The conditions for the war were that capital investment had gone into the capital, Lima, rather than the countryside and the country as a whole has an unsuccessful economy.

As is frequently the case with guerrilla wars of this kind the army behaves with brutality and perhaps creates supporters of the guerrillas out of previous opponents.

Another group, Tupa Amaru, operates in the Amazon area.

Due to past bad economic policies and huge external debts the government is weak. As it itself became a military regime the situation seems likely to get worse, perhaps with the complete destruction of the modern economy along the lines of Mozambique. A small war with Ecuador broke out January 1995 and was settled, but the desire for conflict over a piece of Amazon jungle remains.

With the arrest of the Sendero leader, and his conviction and life imprisonment perhaps this war will not revive.

Last revised 26/04/09


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