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Abimael Guzman: Guerrilla Leader of the Mao Sawa East School, 1934-2021

What’s New in Abimael Guzman

In 1986, I happened to meet Abimael Guzman’s brother-in-law, who was first intrigued by the spectacled philosophy instructor and the leader of Peru’s infamous Maoist guerrilla movement, The Shining Pass. I did.

Nico La Torre, a Stockholm-based engineering student whose sister Augusta married Guzman, claimed that Shining Pass refused aid from Russia and China and stole weapons from the Peruvian government. He denied that the group had trafficked drugs, dismissed reports of the atrocities, and accused the government. He described his brother-in-law as “they always disagreed” but “very sincere.”

However, by the time he was taken prisoner six years after the meeting, Guzman, who died in an 86-year-old military prison last week, had almost succumbed to the Peruvian state in a brutal war estimated to have killed nearly 70,000 people.

Manuel Ruben Abimael Guzman Reynoso, known to his followers as Chairman of Gonzalo, was born in 1934 near the South Harbor of Mollendo. The suffering was mutual. “His father wants Abimael to die,” a Peruvian diplomat associated with the family said in the midst of power outages, bombings, assassinations and village slaughter that shook the country between 1980 and 1992. Told me inside.

However, after his mother’s death, Guzman was taken back to his father’s house in Arequipa. At the exclusive La Salle University, run by a Jesuit monk, he was remembered as a wealthy student who loved ice cream.

Guzman studied law and philosophy at the University of San Agustin, where he met the formidable logician Miguel Angel Rodriguez Rivas, who became his role model. They dropped out after Rodriguez Rivas turned his back on Stalin. A few years later, Guzman was ambushing a military patrol while a former mentor was giving a lecture at the Center for Higher Military Research.

Abimael Guzman was arrested in 1992. His capture effectively destroyed the Shining Path © Jaime Razuri / AFP / Getty

The young Guzman liked Fyodor Dostoevsky and the modern poets Pablo Neruda and Cesar Vallejo. He was also excited about Fidel Castro’s success in Cuba. The feuding Peru of the 1960s was a Marxist cauldron. A peasant rebellion began to break out.

Guzman, now the director of philosophy at Ayacucho’s San Cristobal Def Amanga University, has caught the eye of China. He and Augusta were invited to Beijing. He gladly recalled in the interview. “They told us anything that could be used for the explosion, so we picked up the pen and blasted it, and we sat down and blasted the seat.”

In the 1960s and 1970s, when the left-wing military dictatorship launched a disastrous agricultural reform program focused on collective farming and felt that the indigenous community had been eliminated, Guzman organized peasants, students and teachers. I built it. “The Shining Road of Jose Carlos Maria Tegi” officially created in 1969.

Maria Tegi, the founder of the Peruvian Left, argued that the indigenous community of Peru should be at the center of its socialist revolution. While Guzman took advantage of the myths and aspirations of the indigenous Andean millennial kingdom, it was the Andean Community that suffered the most. They were between the shining pass extremist pathological demands (women and children were similarly savagely executed if they withheld support) and the army, mostly horrified and poorly trained. Was crushed by.

By the time Guzman was arrested in 1992, half of the country was in an emergency. That year alone, about 40 car bombs occurred in Lima. With his capture, the Shining Path was effectively destroyed.

Curiously, it was revealed that Guzman had become a widower shortly before intensifying the violence in Lima. In the video, he kisses the apparently dead Augusta, saying, “We need to understand whether we are communists or not.” Could Augusta become as anxious as his younger brother Nico?

The suspicion was in Elena Iparagile. Elena Iparagile replaced Augusta as Deputy Commander of Guzman and was imprisoned for life in 1992. Iparagile and Guzman got married in 2010. Neither couple had children. For Guzman, they would have been distracted from the demands of “armed struggles.” As he said to his followers, “the recoil flesh will be stripped and shredded, and the black pieces of their internal organs will be buried in the swamp.”

The writer is the author of “Shining Pass: Terrorism and Revolution in Peru”.

Abimael Guzman: Guerrilla Leader of the Mao Sawa East School, 1934-2021

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