Javier Puente: “Making Peru’s Sendero Luminoso: The Mega Niño of 1982-3”

‘In 1980, as Peru returned to democracy after more than a decade of military rule, both the state and civil society faced an unparalleled challenge. Sendero Luminoso – an Ayacucho-based, Maoist party led by philosophy professor Abimael Guzmán – declared an armed struggle against the “reactionary state” and the “bureaucratic-terrateniente dictatorship” embedded within the nascent nominal democracy. Throughout nearly two decades of violence, which slowly escalated into widespread civil warfare, the clash of revolutionary and counterrevolutionary forces produced close to 70,000 casualties.’