Guzman and the Shining Path

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South America » Peru » Callao » El Callao
February 6th 2010
Published: February 19th 2010
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Hola Amigos,
Today was the day we went to the recent history museum. It was quite interesting for me as I had to do essays on recent Peruvian culture and more importantly economics in my degree. To eventually come and see it face to face was really good. The project at the museum was ran by the truth and reconciliation commission and focused heavily on the atrocities committed by both sides. Initially by Alan Garcia´s government and then by the Fujimori government subsequently elected.

During the 1980´s a man called Abimael Guzmán began an armed Maoist insurgency in the Andes. Economic mismanagement at the time encouraged this insurgency to take hold and an intense war lasting over 12 years killing over 60,000 people. Alan Garcia transferred power to Alberto Fujimori who proceeded to employ quite brutal tactics enabling him to capture Guzman and eventually end the insurgency.

The Fujimori government quickly became corrupt and nearly destabilized the whole country. Imagine a government who´s secret police bribe every news station, supreme judge and powerful politician? Well that’s what happened here. The head of the secret police also had every bribe filmed and a signature extracted from the person. When a thorough investigation was enacted this was all used against the perpetrators and enabled easy and honest convictions. Fujimori fled to Japan and has recently been extradited to face trials here.
Many of Callao´s inhabitants still support Fujimori primarily because he brought stability and economic success. He quickly stopped the hyperinflation caused by Alan Garcia’s mismanagement. Though his near destruction of the core organs of state seems to have been forgotten. Below are some pictures of what happened in the war.

No one was safe, Journalists, children, families. The distrust created by a guerilla insurgency meant it was hard for the Army to identify guerillas and it was known that the secret police decimated whole villages.



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