Peru Criticized for Terror Trial Handling

Experts on Peru’s Shining Path insurgency are concerned about the state’s lack of preparation for the upcoming retrial of rebel leader Abimael Guzman in a civilian court and warn it could lay the legal basis for hundreds of high-level guerrillas eventually being freed.

Guzman, 69, founder and mastermind of a bloody insurgency initiated in 1980, was captured in 1992 and sentenced by a secret military tribunal to life in prison without parole. A truth commission last year blamed the Shining Path for 54 percent of the nearly 70,000 deaths caused by rebel violence and a brutal state backlash. Last year, Peru’s Constitutional Tribunal annulled Guzman’s life sentence as unconstitutional and ordered him to be retried in a civilian court. Full Story

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