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Peru, armed insurgency and the Dirty War, 1980–1990

Summer D. Leibensperger

Subject History
Social Movements » Collective Behaviour

Place Americas » South America

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1900-1999

Key-Topics guerilla war, human rights, movements, revolution, terrorism

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405184649.2009.01176.x


Beginning in 1980 and lasting into the 1990s, the Partido Comunista del Peru en el Sendero Luminoso de Mariátegui (PCP-SL or the Communist Party for Peru for the Shining Path of Mariátegui) engaged in guerilla warfare against Peru's central government. Guided by Maoist ideology , PCP-SL planned to overthrow the Peruvian state, replacing it with a New Democracy, leading the way to a socialist society. PCP-SL engaged in thousands of rebel attacks in the 1980s against possible collaborators of all social backgrounds. The government's response was brutal. First it ignored PCP-SL and the factors that led to its rise, which PCP-SL exploited to gain territory and followers, and then responded by inflicting indiscriminate violence both on PCP-SL members and peasants. President Fujimori is credited with capturing the leader of PCP-SL, which incapacitated the organization, but at a terrible price: repeated violations of human rights. His military is charged with committing massacres and extrajudicial executions, raping women, and affecting disappearances. Fujimori, convicted of abuse of power in December 2007, was indicted as a war criminal for human rights violations during his presidency, for which he came to trial in 2008. Additionally, in the mid-1980s, the Movimiento Revolucionario Túpac Amaru (MRTA or Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement) began an attack on the central government while ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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