Peru: Abimael Guzman, historical leader of the Shining Path Maoist guerrilla, dies in prison

Dubbed the “Pol Pot of the Andes”, he had been serving life in prison since 1992, after two convictions in 2006 and 2018. He was hospitalized in July.

The historical leader of the Shining Path of the Peruvian Maoist Guerrilla, Abimael Guzman, died on Saturday, Sept. 11, in prison where he was serving a life sentence, his lawyer Alfredo Crespo told AFP. “Your wife was informed and asked the authorities for her remains”, he added.

The former Maoist leader, imprisoned since 1992, was serving his sentence after two convictions in 2006 and 2018. He was hospitalized in July. In a statement, the Peruvian penitentiary authorities clarified that his death, linked to “a worsening of your health status”, took place at 6:40 am (13:40 am French time) at the high-security penitentiary center at the Callao naval base, near Lima.

The guerrilla and his lieutenants were arrested in Lima in 1992 under the presidency of Alberto Fujimori (1990-2000), who launched a strong repression against the movement. The former philosophy professor was responsible for one of the bloodiest conflicts in Latin America, which shook Peru between 1980 and 2000 and left more than 70,000 people dead and missing, according to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (CVR). The cruelty of his movement earned him the nickname “Pol Pot of the Andes”.

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