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TRC Terrorist Group Profile – Shining Path, a/k/a: Sendero Luminoso

Shining Path is considered by many to be the most dangerous and violent terrorist organization in the world. The group derives its name from Mariategui, an avowed Marxist, who once stated that Marxism was a “shining path to the future.” Yet, despite this apparent connection, Shining Path espouses a neo-Maoist orientation and was formed as a splinter group of the Communisty Party of Peru. The goal of this organization is the destruction of the existing Peruvian government in favor of an Indian-run socialist system. It attempts to carry out this goal by attempting to incite a rural-based insurgency, facilitated by the formation of a peasant revolutionary regime (known as “People`s Republic of a New Democracy”). SP has managed to succeed in part due to its use of names and symbols from the Indian heritage of the rural regions. This appears to have attracted support that may not have come about through a strictly ideological approach. SP terrorism has resulted in the deaths of between ten and twelve thousand since SP`s creation in 1970 (SP`s formal campaign did not begin until May 17, 1980). The vast majority of these killings have been inflicted on Peruvian nationals, although Shining Path is certainly not opposed to attacking visiting diplomats from other nations. In 1986, SP brought their form of revolution into the metropolitan areas of Peru. Full Story and More Profiles

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