Thursday, December 9

Abimael Guzmán: what is Maoism, the ideology in which the guerrilla leader was inspired and for which he unleashed a bloody war in Peru

  • Pierina Pighi Bel (@PierinaPighi)
  • BBC News World

Figure of Abimael Guzmán along with those of Karl Marx, Mao Zedong and Vladimir Lenin.

Image source, Getty Images


Abimael Guzmán considered himself the “fourth sword of Marxism” in the world.

In the early morning of May 17, 1980, five hooded youths entered a polling place in Chuschi, a small town in Ayacucho, in the southern highlands of Peru, and burned the amphorae prepared for the presidential elections the following day.

The apparently small incident received almost no media attention. But now it is remembered every year as the first of thousands of attacks and murders he committed. Shining Path (SL), whose leader and founder Abimael Guzmán passed away this Saturday, during the war that it unleashed against the State in Peru and that according to some calculations left 69,000 dead and missing.

The conflict was the longest and most deadly that the country has suffered in its republican life.

SL chose this route of armed violence to seize power following, according to its leaders and its members, a Marxist-Leninist-Maoist ideology.

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