Shining Path

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The Communist Party of Peru (Spanish: Partido Comunista del Perú), more commonly known as the Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso), is a Maoist organization in Peru. When it first launched the internal conflict in Peru in 1980, its stated goal was to replace what it saw as bourgeois democracy with "New Democracy". The Shining Path believed that by imposing a dictatorship of the proletariat, inducing cultural revolution, and eventually sparking world revolution, they could arrive at pure communism.[citation needed] The Shining Path said that existing socialist countries were revisionist, and that it was the vanguard of the world communist movement. The Shining Path's ideology and tactics have been influential on other Maoist insurgent groups, notably the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) and other Revolutionary Internationalist Movement-affiliated organizations.[2]

Widely condemned for its brutality,[3][4] including violence deployed against peasants, trade union organizers, popularly elected officials and the general civilian population[5], the Shining Path is regarded by the Peruvian government as a terrorist organization. The group is on the U.S. Department of State's list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations,[6] and the European Union[7] and Canada[8] likewise regard them as a terrorist organization and prohibit providing funding or other financial support.

Since the capture of its leader Abimael Guzmán in 1992, the Shining Path has only been sporadically active.[9] Certain factions of the Shining Path now claim to fight in order to force the government to reach a peace treaty with the rebels.[citation needed] Similar to the larger FARC in Colombia, some factions of Shining Path have reinvented themselves as a highly efficient cocaine-smuggling operation, with an ostensibly paternalistic relationship to villagers.[10]

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