Professor, Organization founder
Who is Abimael Guzmán?
Manuel Rubén Abimael Guzmán Reynoso, also known by the nom de guerre Comrade Gonzalo, a former professor of philosophy, was the leader of the Shining Path during the Maoist insurgency known as the internal conflict in Peru. Shining Path had been active in Peru since the late 1970s and began what it called "the armed struggle" on 17 May 1980. Wanted on charges of terrorism and treason, Guzmán was captured by the Peruvian government in 1992 and sentenced to life imprisonment.
He is currently incarcerated at the Callao naval base, near the city of Lima, Peru. While the activity of the insurgency increased shortly after Guzmán's capture, it has declined in the years following. It has been criticized for its violence against peasants, trade union organizers, and elected officials, which were deemed by the group to be collaborating with the Peruvian state. Shining Path is on the U.S. Department of State's "Designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations" list. The European Union, and Peru likewise describe Shining Path as a terrorist group and prohibit providing funding or other financial support.
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