- BBC News World
A new chapter opens in Peru with the modification of a law that would open the way to allow the cremation of the remains of the founder of the Maoist guerrilla Shining Path, Abimael Guzmán, who died last Saturday in prison.
After being approved with 71 votes in favor in the first vote and 81 in the second, the project must now be definitively sanctioned by the president, Pedro Castillo, within a period of no more than 15 days.
Less than a week has passed since Guzmán’s death and it is still unclear what will happen to his remains, which for now remain in the custody of the Public Ministry in the El Callao morgue.
Guzman passed away at 86 years old of a bilateral pneumonia in the prison of the Naval Base of El Callao, the maximum security prison where he had been serving a sentence for 29 years for crimes of terrorism.
Since that time, his widow, Elena Iparraguirre, has unsuccessfully tried to claim Guzmán’s body, which caused tens of thousands of deaths in the country between 1980 and 1992.
Iparraguirre, also incarcerated in a prison for similar crimes, has encountered different obstacles along the way, the main one being the state’s desire to keep the remains away from those who want to pay them an eventual tribute.
Earlier this week, the Minister of Justice, Aníbal Torres, asked the Prosecutor’s Office to order the cremation of Guzmán’s remains, despite the fact that the agency had reported in a previous communication that, in accordance with the General Law on Health and the Procedural Code, “the remains should be delivered to the duly accredited direct relatives.”
In view of what was stated by the prosecuting body, Congress undertook the task of modifying said Law so that a prosecutor could order, “in a reasoned and unquestionable decision”, the cremation of the remains of the sentenced leaders or members of the leadership. terrorist who die in prison.
And although the initial intention of the bill is to allow the measure to be applied to Guzmán’s remains, several lawmakers warned during the debate on Thursday that this will not be possible because the laws are not retroactive in Peru.
However, those who promoted the new law affirmed, as quoted by the EFE agency, that it can be applied to the Shining Path leader because his body still remains in the El Callao morgue.
Guzmán was the founder and absolute leader of the Shining Path, the armed group that rose up in 1980 against the State in its attempt to turn Peru into a communist republic, unleashing a conflict whose fatalities are estimated at 69,000.
Now you can receive notifications from BBC News Mundo. Download the new version of our app and activate them so you don’t miss out on our best content.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.