How Peru Defeated The “Shining Path” Insurgency

peru

Dictators get little gratitude.

When they are on top, everyone loves (or claims to love) them; but when they fall or leave office, they are reviled, accused, and loathed.  Chile’s former strongman Pinochet spent the last years of his life fighting criminal charges, yet a good argument can be made that his authoritarian rule laid the groundwork for Chilean economic progress after him.

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3 thoughts on “How Peru Defeated The “Shining Path” Insurgency

  1. Good write up on Peru and Shining Path. My wife is from Peru and lived through those years as an adult and reveres Fujimori, She also is from the upper class there. She tells me that the lower classes, those that are swayed even today by socialism and communism were the driving force behind him being prosecuted and jailed. The premise was Fujimori was indiscriminate in killing and that along with Shining Path many innocents were killed by the government. Of course who determines innocence and quilt is highly subjective along with who really killed who. Was it the government or Shining Path? She seems to feel that him being jailed is a travesty. I have been to Lima many times and right in town in busy shopping areas there are monuments to the people died from car bombs. Shining Path also blew up a car bomb in front of the US embassy a few days before President GW Bush arrived. You did a good report on the tactics used to defeat Shining Path. Know this though, they are still there and complacency has lead to them growing again. The government of Peru has to include the lower classes in the economic growth they have enjoyed, Its quite remarkable really, and sad that a lot are left out. Poverty is the birthplace of radicalism and fighting that might be the most powerful tool there is.

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  2. Thanks, Alan. Appreciate that.
    I’ve read a little about the conflict. I also saw a documentary on Fujimori. Frankly, I could not understand why everyone turned against him. How do you expect do defeat an insurgency, except through ruthless violence? It’s not possible.
    I also can’t believe they accused him of “human rights” violations for having commandos storm the embassy and shoot the terrorists. To me, that’s just common sense.

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    • Agree, you have to fight them with their same tactics. And power is the only language they understand. Another study in this is how Columbia finally got Pablo Escobar. They used the same tactics, they killed his close associates and some of his family I believe. They also took his wife as a prisoner in a hotel. That lead them to him as he tried to contact her on a sat phone and they traced it.

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