The Communist Party of Peru:

Shining Path

The Shining Path was founded in the late 1960s by  Abimael Guzman as a splinter group from the communist party of Peru.  In 1980, when the Shining Path first launched the internal conflict in Peru, it stated its goal to replace what it saw as bourgeois democracy with "New Democracy."  They believed that by establishing a dictatorship of the proletariat (refers to a state in which the working class has control of political power), they would induce cultural revolution that would eventually spark a world revolution that would result in pure communism.  The organization grew throughout the 1980s in terms of territory controlled and militants, particularly in the Andean highlands. It gained support from local peasants by filling the political void left by the central government and providing "popular justice."  The impoverished and neglected regions of Ayacucho, Apurimac, and Huancavelica expressed the most sympathy for the Shining Path.  The Shining Path is most known for their involvement in the internal conflict in Peru that began in 1980. One of their deadliest terrorist acts during the conflict was the Tarata bombing which killed 25, wounded 200, and destroyed or damaged 183 homes, 400 businesses and 63 parked cars.  The organization began to collapse after the Peruvian police captured Abimael Guzman in 1992, and his successor, Oscar Ramirez in 1999.   During the 21st century there was a small resurgence during which the Shining Path exploded a car bomb outside the U.S. embassy in Lima just before a visit by U.S. President George W. Bush on Mach 21, 2002. Nine people were killed and 30 were injured.  The Shining Path still exists today with about 4,200 members remaining.

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