Title

The Evolution of Peru's Shining Path and the New Security Priorities in the Hemisphere

Author Information

Barnett S. Koven

Keywords

Left-wing Terrorism, Security Policy

Description

Between 1980 and 1992, Peru's Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso) was a Maoist insurgency that raged in most of the country and gravely threatened the Peruvian state; subsequently, after the 1992 capture of its leader, it was dramatically transformed. In the 2000s, it was powerful in only two remote areas of Peru and was much more deeply enmeshed in the narcotics trade. In both areas, the Shining Path proclaimed ideological goals, but its ideological commitment was called into question by its zealous pursuit of financial gain. Whereas previously the Shining Path's mistreatment of peasants cost the insurgency support in many rural areas, it became less abusive and for the most part there was an accommodation among Shining Path members, on the one hand, and coca producers and peasants, on the other. Two rival factions existed in two different coca-producing areas: the Upper Huallaga Valley (UHV) and the VRAEM (Valley of the Apurimac, Ene, and Mantaro Rivers).

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The Evolution of Peru's Shining Path and the New Security Priorities in the Hemisphere

Between 1980 and 1992, Peru's Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso) was a Maoist insurgency that raged in most of the country and gravely threatened the Peruvian state; subsequently, after the 1992 capture of its leader, it was dramatically transformed. In the 2000s, it was powerful in only two remote areas of Peru and was much more deeply enmeshed in the narcotics trade. In both areas, the Shining Path proclaimed ideological goals, but its ideological commitment was called into question by its zealous pursuit of financial gain. Whereas previously the Shining Path's mistreatment of peasants cost the insurgency support in many rural areas, it became less abusive and for the most part there was an accommodation among Shining Path members, on the one hand, and coca producers and peasants, on the other. Two rival factions existed in two different coca-producing areas: the Upper Huallaga Valley (UHV) and the VRAEM (Valley of the Apurimac, Ene, and Mantaro Rivers).