Peru Shining Path founder sentenced to life in prison for second time

By September 12, 2018

Abimael Guzman, the founder of the leftist Shining Path movement in Peru, was given a second life sentence on Tuesday, according to Reuters. A Peru court found him guilty of planning and carrying out a car bomb attack in the capital of Lima in 1992 that killed 25 civilians.

Another 155 were wounded in the attack that took place on Tarata Street. Guzman was captured shortly after the attacks and was identified as the head of the Communist Party of Peru group that had conducted other attacks in Peru’s rural regions.

Shining Path’s violence led to nearly 70,000 deaths and disappearances over a span of two decades. President Alberto Fujimori had his military train soldiers to fight the rebel movement and was able to gain political advantage from the security concerns and terrorist attacks carried about by the Shining Path.

In the latest trial that concluded Tuesday, Guzman denied any involvement in the 1992 car bombing. Now 83 years old, he had been previously sentenced to life for heading the Shining Path rebel group.

Though the rebel group was weakened significantly after Guzman’s capture in the early 90s, they produced other significant attacks in the years to come. Most notably, in 2002, they are believed to be the group responsible for blowing up a car bomb outside the U.S. Embassy on the eve of a visit from the then U.S. President George W. Bush. In that attack, nine lives were lost.

Guzman was one of a handful of Shining Path members that were also given life sentences for the Tarata Street bombings on Tuesday.