Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Sources on the Shining Path

To answer Walter Skold's question, there are plenty of sources that document the barbarous nature of the Peruvian Shining Path movement. I did a quick post on this myself a few weeks ago. Here are just a few additional links:

-This section of a 1997 report from Human Rights Watch offers an overview of the kinds of atrocities committed by the Shining Path:

Since the beginning of the armed conflict, Peru's two armed opposition groups, Shining Path and the MRTA, have consistently violated principles of international humanitarian law.(133) Such violations include the selective killing of non-combatants, indiscriminate attacks, forced recruitment, and, in the case of the MRTA, hostage-taking.(134)

Shining Path, in particular, has gained a reputation for its glorification of violence, making a revolutionary virtue out of the cold-blooded assassination of noncombatants perceived to be its ideological enemies. Shining path has explicitly rejected respect for the principles of human rights, a stance that is amply displayed in the group's disregard for the laws of war:

(Emphasis added-DD)

-Another good overview of the group is this 2002 analysis from the Center for Defense Information:

In this early strategy of rural revolution, the Sendero clashed most frequently with the very poor indigenous populations whose interests it claimed to advance. In areas within its sphere of influence, the group forced farmers to reduce production to subsistence levels and destroyed modern farm equipment. Beyond targeting farm production, the Sendero has imposed puritanical regulations on the populace by outlawing fiestas, prohibiting drinking, and terrorizing peasants that have turned to trading and selling. Although some the group’s activities, such as its public executions of corrupt officials, have followed the standard Maoist doctrine of winning hearts and minds, most of its efforts reflect a simpler strategy of terrorizing local populations into submission. In response, many peasants in more prosperous areas, such as the Mantaro Valley in the central Andes, have cooperated with government forces and formed civil defense patrols to resist Sendero control.

-Oddly enough, Al Jazeera's English language web site has an interesting article on the Shining Path movement.

-Finally, this opinion piece provides some additional background:

"In 1989, the Maoist guerrillas hacked to death my uncle and his family whom they accused of helping counterinsurgency forces in Lima. They hacked them with knives and machetes before slitting their throats. That was one of the bloody violence by Maoists". Dr. Naritoma said. She stated "Maoist and Al Queda are no different. Shining Path and Maoists are criminals and murderers, so without eliminating them peace will not exist in this world. We Peruvians condemn them. We don't want to hear their name. Shining Path is a failed ideology in this world".


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