Sendero Luminoso: origins, outlooks, and implications
Jones, Frank Thomas Bradford
Laurance, Edward J.
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The Sendero Luminoso, or Shining Path, rebellion in Peru was launched during the summer of 1980. Although the group was relatively unknown, and initially dismissed as a weak and unimportant movement among the Indian peasants of the Andean highlands, the Sendero guerrillas have proven to be a resilient and dedicated threat to the Peruvian democratic regime. This thesis examines the Sendero Luminoso question from three different perspectives. Their use of Maoist strategy and tactics as interpreted by Abimael Guzman is discussed at length. The counterinsurgency program is analyzed to explain its failures and offer suggestions for improvement. Finally, the problem is reviewed from the aspect of the central government during the last two decades. It is concluded that although Sendero Luminoso poses no immediate threat to assume power, the guerrillas possess the capability to inflict damage for at least the near future. Recommendations for United States policy regarding Peru and Sendero Luminoso are included in the final chapter.
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