Shining Path: Terror and Revolution in Peru


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B y employing a comparative approach to studying the Islamic State and applying social movement and revolution theory, we argue that the Islamic State is more than a transnational terrorist organization. In the case of the Shining Path, we have the benefit of following the life of the organization from birth to eventual death though it lives on in residual organizations, which is also instructive. The thread tying together the cases considered here is the application of a high-degree of violence to achieve a political objective, either the remaking of a global political-economic order, the vindication of ancient grievances, or the establishment of a divinely-inspired government on Earth.

Collective political action is the product of shared discontent in a society. Political violence is possible when that discontent is focused on the activity or the inaction of a constituted political system.

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Thus, collective political violence is a function of shared discontent in a society, and the degree to which that discontent is blamed on the established political system. In this section, we compare Sendero Luminoso and the Islamic State.

Peru's Shining Path: Revolution's End | inacfunsynctab.gq

It begins with a brief analysis of the Islamic State in the context of the case study, without an extensive history of the organization, which has been treated thoroughly in recent scholarship. Rather than attempt to re-do the extensive scholarly work done on the history, ideology and tactics employed by the Islamic State, in this section we move directly to comparing and contrasting the Shining Path with the Islamic State.

First, both organizations claimed localized objectives as well as universal ideological goals. The Islamic State and the Shining Path represent violent political movements claiming both particularistic and universal goals. The historical antecedents of what we now call the Islamic State rose out of the political marginalization of Iraqi Sunnis following the coalition invasion of Iraq in While particularistic political goals prompted its rise and motivated many Iraqis who joined its ranks, under the leadership of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, al-Qaeda in Iraq adopted its universalistic goals surrounding the establishment of a new caliphate.


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The Islamic State expects to extend its political dominion outward, obliterating current national frontiers as it does, demanding universal obedience:. Void is the legitimacy of all emirates, groups, administrations, and organizations to which his [i. In a similar way, the leadership of the Shining Path sought to overthrow the Peruvian government, but also believed themselves to be the initiators of global revolution.

Second, as with the Shining Path, the Islamic State demands violent action to achieve its goals, violence is both instrumental, and symbolic, having its own intrinsic value—violence is a means to an end and an end in itself. According to Bakr, savage violence is spiritually cleansing, and in fact merciful,. Islam is the religion of war. Your Prophet peace be upon him was dispatched with the sword as a mercy to the creation. He was ordered with war until Allah is worshipped alone. He himself left to fight and took part in dozens of battles. He never for a day grew tired of war.

Violence is also instrumental.

Abu Naji Bakr argues in the Management of Savagery that violence is useful in forcing non-participants to action:. Similarly, the Shining Path believed in the transformative nature of violence to produce revolution;[ 10 ] violence is also an essential element of the Jihadi Salafism of the Islamic State which eschews negotiation and compromise.

Introduction

Terror groups that rely on dramatic surges of violence against civilian targets almost never get their way, and end up becoming pariahs. Finally, the Islamic State claims to represent an ideological purity and to stand for correction of past errors, or a repentance, as did the Shining Path.

The Islamic State embraces Wahhabi-Salafism, which focuses on the elimination of idolatry shirk and affirms the oneness tawhid of God. Under Zarqawi, this pursuit of religious purity led him to seek a sectarian civil war in Iraq, beginning in Between and Peru was governed by a military junta. The military government had been markedly leftist, endorsed by Fidel Castro, and militarily supported by the Soviet Union. The Senderoistas cast themselves as the initiators of a new revolution that would, inevitably, engulf the entire world, and permanently reset the path of history.

The SL was a particularly rigid, uncompromising organization, one focused on ideological purity repudiating the United States, the Soviet Union, as well as Communist China under Deng Xiaoping. Above all, SL had an unwavering commitment to violent revolution. This is of transcendental importance.

Introduction

This we shall do, this is the rebirth. Comrades, we are reborn! SL leaders had been influential academics, but in the late s their status at the National University at San Cristobal de Humanga had suffered a decline. The SL presents an interesting analytical puzzle. As many theorists have noted, violence has little appeal in systems marked by even a small amount of democracy, as was the case in Peru in Why did the SL enter its armed struggle in , pursue it so vigorously as to murder tens of thousands of Peruvians, and at one point claim the allegiance of several thousand fighters, extending control through much of the countryside of the center and south of Peru?

Marks , however, takes a distinctly different approach. The SL used violence to force non-participants to essentially choose sides, to intimidate Peruvians to join in their struggle. Others argue that ideological commitment is necessary, but not sufficient. The SL was ultimately undone by three forces: First, though the Peruvian government failed initially to fully appreciate the threat posed by SL, suffered from widespread corruption, and failed to understand counter-insurgency doctrine, eventually, the Peruvian government managed to score some significant intelligence victories.

Shining Path party leader in court in Peru

Immediately after Guzman was captured, the number of terrorist attacks by SL dropped; before his capture SL averaged over acts of terror per quarter, after his capture, they averaged just ten see Figure 2. Additionally, the lethality and complexity of these acts were also reduced. Secondly, the Peruvian government especially under Fujimori ruthlessly pursued the SL, undermining its ability to wage a guerilla war.

Guzman explicitly organized the SL as a military organization, distributing to subordinate cadres documents that detailed its military doctrine, situated in Marxist-Lenininst-Maoist thought. Politics concentrated on the war, but did not become subordinate to the military organization charged with waging war.

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Shining Path, Tupac Amaru (Peru, leftists)

Organized as a revolutionary party, with a military force as its agent, the SL were committed to guerrilla warfare. As such, the SL required a safe base of support beyond the reach of government forces, the ability to maneuver unhindered, and reliable resupply of fighters and material. Relentless, oppressive government action denied SL the ability to act as a guerilla army, though it did little to address the underlying conditions that engendered support for SL at its outset, which helps explain the arrival of successor organizations that bear some of the ideological commitments of SL.

It has systematically lambasted and even assassinated, not just government officials and peasant villagers in the highlands, but even members of Marxist and social democratic political parties. They had shown virtually no concern about the attitude of other Peruvians concerning the future of the nation. Ultimately, between and , between 61, and 77, lives were claimed during the conflict between SL and Peruvian government forces. The final demise of SL, as the Communist terror organization it was in the s and early 90s, has been variously set as early as September when Guzman was captured [ 37 ], or the year , by the CVR, or at the end of the Fujimori era in , after the disgraced president resigned and fled to Japan.


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  8. The Americas Watch Committee, a U. The report worried that "U. Similar to other revolutionary uprisings, Shining Path funded many of its operations through narcotrafficking and forced taxes on small business and individuals in the areas they predominately operated within. At its height, Sendero financed itself mainly through drug-trafficking taxes. In return, it gave peasant growers fair prices for coca crops and provided them shelter from violence from traffickers and security forces. Today, the U. According to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, the area controlled by Shining Path Reuters is "the biggest producer in terms of density per hectare in all of the Andes.

    The accumulation of near absolute power in the hands of the president and his coterie precipitated a campaign of murder and abduction against those thought to be enemies of the state, without having any legal system capable of challenging them. After this, the insurgency quieted down and assassinations and attacks decreased.

    Recent information suggests that Shining Path has staged a moderate resurgence in the mountainous regions of Peru. The group has turned to narcotrafficking CNN to fund its operations, which includes its campaign to overthrow the Peruvian government. Shining Path has easily gained ground in the country due to indifference or outright apathy on the part of the peasantry, writes Hyland.


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    In August , the Peruvian military launched a operation against Shining Path, which resulted in several counterattacks, including an October ambush that killed at least a dozen soldiers. Analysts such as Alex Sanchez from the Center for International Policy note that Shining Path is too weak to launch a major offensive to take over the country, but Peruvians are afraid the group will gain supporters among rural residents who feel neglected by the government.

    Currently the head of the rebel group, known as Comrade Artemio, is the only high-profile Shining Path leader who has not been caught or killed.

    Shining Path: Terror and Revolution in Peru Shining Path: Terror and Revolution in Peru
    Shining Path: Terror and Revolution in Peru Shining Path: Terror and Revolution in Peru
    Shining Path: Terror and Revolution in Peru Shining Path: Terror and Revolution in Peru
    Shining Path: Terror and Revolution in Peru Shining Path: Terror and Revolution in Peru
    Shining Path: Terror and Revolution in Peru Shining Path: Terror and Revolution in Peru
    Shining Path: Terror and Revolution in Peru Shining Path: Terror and Revolution in Peru

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