Peruvian Rebel Group Finds New Life

Shining Path kinder, gentler and more ideologically muddled, but still deadly
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 12, 2008 2:38 PM CST
Peruvian soldiers, survivors of Shining Path ambush, rest at a military hospital in Lima, Oct. 11, 2008.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – All but forgotten, Peru's Shining Path guerrilla group has again become a force to be reckoned with, killing more people in October than it had in any month since the 1990s, the Washington Post reports in a look at its secretive ranks. Today’s drug-financed Path leans more liberal narcoterrorist than fire-breathing Maoist, having shed some of the brutal ways of founder Abimael Guzmán, who believed the path to power required killing 10% of the country's people.

Since his 1992 imprisonment, Shining Path has instead protected villages, targeting mainly military and anti-drug authorities; its dogma has become pro-worker liberalism. “The Shining Path is working as if it were a company,” said Peru’s vice-president. “They have been contaminated with the capitalism of drug trafficking.”