Home World Peru: the remains of the Shining Path leader Abimael Guzmán were cremated

Peru: the remains of the Shining Path leader Abimael Guzmán were cremated

The corpse of Abimael Guzmán, leader and founder of the Maoist organization Sendero Luminoso, was cremated this Friday at dawn and the authorities maintain a reservation about the place where the ashes were deposited, confirmed official sources from Peru.

The Ministry of the Interior of that country reported in a statement that at 3.20 am, “at the headquarters of the Callao Naval Medical Center Hospital, the cremation of the body of Manuel Rubén Abimael Guzmán Reinoso began”, and that the procedure concluded two hours later.

The fate of the ashes of Guzmán, whose body remained in the morgue in that city since his death at 86 years in prison on September 11, was not disclosed by the Peruvian government and is being kept confidential.

The cremation, carried out in compliance with a law that allows for the fate of guerrilla leaders for national security, was witnessed by the Interior Ministers, Juan Carrasco, and the Minister of Justice, Aníbal Torres.

The coffin with the remains of Abigael Guzmán. AFP

Hours before and under strong police protection, the body had been transferred from the Callao morgue to the crematorium of the Naval Hospital, located a short distance away in the same port.

The authorities did not allow the entry of the press and did not report whether there is a film or graphic record of the cremation, something that right-wing parliamentarians had claimed.

The act coincided with the institutional day of the Armed Forces, which Peru celebrates this Friday.

“On Armed Forces Day, the Executive has complied with the cremation and final disposal of the ashes of the genocidal Abimael Guzmán. Today more than ever, we vindicate the memory of the thousands of Peruvians killed by terror,” the minister tweeted inland.

The dispute over the remains of Abigael Guzmán

The cremation put an end to a dispute between the authorities and the widow, who demanded from prison to dispose of Guzmán’s remains and accused the Government of “murder.”

Guzmán’s body had been in the possession of the Public Ministry since his death, after a prosecutor rejected the request of the imprisoned widow, Elena Yparaguirre, to bury him through a third person.

The prosecution, backed by a recent law, alleged national security reasons for cremating the body and not turning it over to the widow, fearing that the tomb could become a pilgrimage site for the Shining Path, a group considered terrorist.

Shining Path launched a “people’s war” marked by bloody actions between 1980 and 2000 in a conflict that left 70,000 dead, according to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.


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