Name of leader          Abimael Guzmán   

Full Name                           Manuel Rubén Abimael Guzmán Reynoso

Nom de Guerre                 Presidente Gonzalo

Organization                      Sendero Luminoso (SL)

 

English Translation          Shining Path

Full Org. Name.                 Communist Party of Peru-Shining Path 

Conflict country                Peru

 

Gender                                Male   

    

Year of birth                       1934 [1]   

 

Place of birth                     Arequipa, Peru[2]  

 

Year of death                     2021

 

 

Deceased

 

Yes, he died on 13 July 2021.

 

Birth order

 

His birth order is unknown.

 

Age at start of rebel leadership

 

1964 around the age of 30.[3]

 

Leader entry method

 

Guzmán founded the organization.[4]

 

In 1962, he became an assistant professor at the National University of San Cristobal de Huamanga in Ayacucho. As a professor, he described his dream of remaking Peru in the image of China--a society in which there were no rich and poor fighting for money and jobs, and where the communists were said to have ended poverty and crime. Guzmán saved his highest praise for Mao Zedong, the dictator of Communist China. During the next few years, Guzmán gained a large and loyal following of students and fellow professors. As a reward, he was promoted to director of personnel. In this position, he managed gradually to take over the university. He hired only those professors who agreed with his political beliefs and used his position to recruit new members to his group. He fired all those who disagreed with him or who became his rivals for power within the Communist party or the university. At the same time, China and the Soviet Union were becoming rival powers. The Soviet leaders had made changes in their society--changes that Mao harshly criticized. In 1964, Guzmán left the Communist party to join Bandera Rosa (Red Flag), a group loyal to Maoism. In the 1960s, this "Maoist" party sent Guzmán to China, where he learned strategies and tactics of guerrilla warfare in the countryside. After returning to Peru, Guzmán began criticizing Bandera Rosa's leaders, who favored a revolution in the cities among factory workers and the urban poor. Instead, Guzmán saw Peru's future revolution taking place in the countryside, where most of Peru's peasant population lived. In 1970, the leaders of Bandera Rosa expelled Guzmán from the group. Guzmán struck out on his own, calling his new organization the "Communist Party of Peru for the Shining Path of Jose Carlos Mariategui." Guzmán and his followers--Sendero Luminoso--claimed follow the "path" intended by the founder of Peru's Communist party.[5]

 

Powersharing

 

No, there is no evidence of powersharing.

 

Education (also name universities attended, if any); note any relevant experiences while a student

 

“He attended a Roman Catholic high school and San Augustin University in the city of Arequipa. There he studied law and philosophy and earned degrees in both subjects. In the 1950s, Guzmán and many other university students in Latin America found inspiration in the communist revolutions of the Soviet Union and China.”[6]

 

Ever married? If yes, age of first marriage

 

Yes, “in 1963 he met Augusta La Torre, daughter of a prominent landowner of the region, with whom he would marry.” [7]

 

Children

 

No, there is no evidence of him having children.

 

Religious identification

 

He was a Catholic.[8]

Elite Family background

 

“Guzmán was the illegitimate son of a wealthy Peruvian businessman, and his mother abandoned him when he was a young boy.”[9]

 

Political affiliations and intellectual circles; note any relevant social connections made

 

“He excelled as a student but showed little interest in politics until his late teens, when he began associating with leftist intellectuals. He became the protégé of the painter Carlos de la Riva, who was an ardent admirer of Joseph Stalin, and he joined the Peruvian Communist Party in the late 1950s”[10] After the Peruvian party broke apart, he joined the “Communist Party of Peru-Red Flag” and after traveling to China in 1965, he was put in the National Political Committee.[11]

 

Physical and mental health

 

He suffered from psoriasis and polychthemia.[12]

 

Pre-militant leader occupation

 

He was a professor.[13]

 

Experience in a state military, and role; any relevant social ties

 

No, there is no evidence of experience in a state military.

 

Experience in a nonstate military, and role; any relevant social ties

 

No, there is no evidence of experience in a nonstate military.

 

Combat experience prior to assuming resistance organization leadership?

 

No, there is no evidence of combat experience.

 

Held government position prior to assuming leadership?

 

No, there is no evidence of him holding a government position.

 

Lived in exile?

 

No, there is no evidence of him living in exile.

 

Study abroad?

 

No, there is no evidence of that he studied abroad.

 

Did the leader receive military training abroad?

 

No, there is no evidence of him receiving military training abroad.

 

Did the leader have extensive work experience abroad?

 

No, there is no evidence of him having extensive work experience abroad.

 

Serve time in prison? Social connections during that time?

 

“1969, when the student protest broke out in the cities of Huamanga and Huanta against the restrictive measures in the free education, dictated by the government of General Juan Velasco Alvarado Guzmán mobilized his "generated organisms" that operated inside the Ayacucho People's Defense Front, founded in 1966, for which he was arrested and transferred to the capital along with dozens of popular leaders. The political consequences of these protests led to an internal crisis in Red Flag. After leaving prison, Guzmán traveled to China for the second time.”[14]

 

This does not count as prison because happened after being leader: “Though Guzmán’s conviction was overturned by a constitutional court in 2003, he was retried by a civilian court that likewise sentenced him to life in prison in 2006. In 2010 Guzmán was allowed to marry his longtime lover and former high-ranking member of Shining Path, Elena Iparraguirre. Guzmán died in while serving his term in solitary confinement in a specially built naval prison in El Callao, west of Lima.”[15]

 

Was there an assassination attempt on the leader by the state?

 

No, there was no evidence of an assassination attempt by the state.

 

Cause of Death?

 

His cause of death remains unspecified.[15]

 

Primary language, and other languages spoken as adult

 

Spanish was Guzmán's primary language.

 

 

 

Image Credit: https://www.ecured.cu/images/6/6c/ABIMAEL_GUZMAN3.jpg

[1] “Abimael Guzmán,” Encyclopaedia Britannica, August 19, 2016, Accessed August 20, 2017, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Abimael-Guzman.

[2] “Abimael Guzmán,” Encyclopaedia Britannica, August 19, 2016, Accessed August 20, 2017, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Abimael-Guzman.

[3] Revolutionary and Militant Organizations Dataset (REVMOD); accessible at www.revolutionarymilitant.org.

[4] Revolutionary and Militant Organizations Dataset (REVMOD); accessible at www.revolutionarymilitant.org.

[5] Thomas Streissguth, “Abimael Guzman and the Shining Path”, 1993, Accessed August 20, 2017, https://www.georgiastandards.org/resources/Lexile_in_Action/SSWH20_1040.pdf.

[6] Thomas Streissguth, “Abimael Guzman and the Shining Path”, 1993, Accessed August 20, 2017, https://www.georgiastandards.org/resources/Lexile_in_Action/SSWH20_1040.pdf.

[7] “Guzmán Reynoso, Abimael,” mcnbiografias, Accessed September 3, 2017, http://www.mcnbiografias.com/app-bio/do/show?key=guzman-reynoso-abimael.

[8] “Abimael Guzmán,” Encyclopaedia Britannica, August 19, 2016, Accessed August 20, 2017, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Abimael-Guzman.

[9] “Abimael Guzmán,” Encyclopaedia Britannica, August 19, 2016, Accessed August 20, 2017, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Abimael-Guzman.

[10] “Abimael Guzmán,” Encyclopaedia Britannica, August 19, 2016, Accessed August 20, 2017, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Abimael-Guzman.

[11] “Guzmán Reynoso, Abimael,” mcnbiografias, Accessed September 3, 2017, http://www.mcnbiografias.com/app-bio/do/show?key=guzman-reynoso-abimael.

[12] “Guzmán Reynoso, Abimael,” mcnbiografias, Accessed September 3, 2017, http://www.mcnbiografias.com/app-bio/do/show?key=guzman-reynoso-abimael.

[13] “Abimael Guzmán,” Encyclopaedia Britannica, August 19, 2016, Accessed August 20, 2017, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Abimael-Guzman.

[14] “Guzmán Reynoso, Abimael,” mcnbiografias, Accessed September 3, 2017, http://www.mcnbiografias.com/app-bio/do/show?key=guzman-reynoso-abimael.

[15] “Abimael Guzmán,” Encyclopaedia Britannica, August 19, 2016, Accessed August 20, 2017, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Abimael-Guzman.

[16] Stephen Kinzer, "Abimael Guzmán, Leader of Guerrilla Group That Terrorized Peru, Dies at 86," The New York Times (11 September 2021).

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