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New Day in Court for Shining Path Insurgency in Peru

Peru is gearing up for a repeat of the “trial of the century,” as the 1992 court case against Abimael Guzmán was called. Guzmán is the founder and leader of the Shining Path, a Maoist insurgency that declared war on the Peruvian government in 1980. The Shining Path ran rampant over large chunks of Peru for 12 years until Guzmán was arrested in September 1992, summarily tried and sentenced to life in prison. The party quickly unraveled, and the National Antiterrorism Police estimate that today it has only 300 armed fighters in pockets deep in the country’s jungle. Despite the collapse, the Shining Path never died, and legal challenges are now giving Guzmán and his top deputies another day in court. Guzmán’s original court case was annulled on March 19, and new charges were filed against him five days later. In his first interview with the judge in the case, Javier Llaque, on March 28, Guzmán accepted the allegation that he founded the Shining Path, but he denied any responsibility in the deaths and destruction caused by the party since 1980. Full Story

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