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The Origins and Logic of Shining Path: Two Views

Return to the Past
  • Carlos Iván Degregori

Abstract

On the night of May 17, 1980, the eve of Peru’s first presidential elections in seventeen years, a group of youths broke into the town hall in the small Andean town of Chuschi. They took ballot boxes and voting lists, and burned them in the town plaza. The incident was lost in the avalanche of election news. Over the following months, while the press reported the theft of dynamite from a few mines, isolated bombs began to go off here and there. No one paid much attention until the end of that year, when the situation acquired a folkloric if sinister dimension: Early risers in Lima began to find dead dogs hung from traffic lights and lamp posts. They were adorned with signs that read “Deng Xiaoping, Son of a Bitch.”

Keywords

Armed Action Central Intelligence Agency Khmer Rouge Military Government Free Education 
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Notes

  1. 1.
    Between 1967 and 1981, out-migration from Ayacucho fluctuated between the second and third highest among Peru’s departments, with a net annual average migration rate between eight and fourteen per thousand inhabitants. Instituto Nacional de Estadística (INE), Las migraciones internas en el Perú (Lima: INE, 1987).Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    Norberto Bobbio, El futuro de la democracia (Mexico City: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1986).Google Scholar
  3. 11.
    Economic Commission on Latin America (ECLA), Statistical Yearbook for Latin America: 1984 (New York: United Nations, 1985).Google Scholar
  4. 12.
    The testimonies are taken from Aracelio Castillo, “El movimiento popular de junio de 1969, Huanta y Huamanga, Ayacucho,” Ph.D. dissertation, University of San Marcos, Lima, 1972.Google Scholar
  5. 14.
    Partido Comunista del Perú-Sendero Luminoso, “Documentos fundamentales del Primer Congreso del Partido Comunista del Perú (Congreso Marxista-Leninista-Maoista, pensamiento Gonzalo),” El Diario, January 8, 1988.Google Scholar
  6. 15.
    Diego García Sayán, Toma de tierras en el Perú (Lima: DESCO, 1982).Google Scholar
  7. 16.
    Sandra Woy-Hazelton, “Infrastructure of Participation in Peru: SINAMOS,” in John A. Booth and Mitchell A. Seligson, eds., Political Participation in Latin America, Volume I: Citizen and State (New York: Holmes and Meier, 1978), pp. 189–208.Google Scholar
  8. 17.
    See Vera Gianotten, Ton de Wit, and Hans de Wit, “The Impact of Sendero Luminoso on Regional and National Politics in Peru,” in David Slater, ed., New Social Movements and the State in Latin America (Amsterdam: CEDLA, 1985), pp. 171–202, for an early interpretation.Google Scholar
  9. 18.
    Indian or peasant communities make up a larger portion of the total land area in Ayacucho than in any other department of Peru. The application of the agrarian reform (1969–1975) provoked a sharp escalation in intercommunity conflict, often based on these age-old grievances, due in part to the resulting change in local power relationships and in part to the extremely limited land available for redistribution. See David Scott Palmer, “Revolution from Above”: Military Government and Popular Participation in Peru, 1968–1972, Dissertation series #47 (Ithaca, NY: Latin American Studies Program, Cornell University, 1973), pp. 196–199.Google Scholar
  10. 19.
    Carlos Iván Degregori, “Ayacucho, la guerra ha comenzado,” El Diario, January 13, 1983, pp. 11–12.Google Scholar
  11. 20.
    Partido Comunista del Perú, Desarrollemos la Guerra de Guerrillas (Lima: Ediciones Bandera Roja, 1982), and “La entrevista del siglo: Presidente Gonzalo rompe el silencio,” El Diario, July 24, 1988, pp. 2–47.Google Scholar
  12. 21.
    R. A. Burgler, The Eyes of the Pineapple: Revolutionary Intellectuals and Terror in Democratic Kampuchea (Saarbrucken: Breitenback Verlay, 1990).Google Scholar
  13. 25.
    José María Arguedas, El zorro de arriba y el zorro de abajo (Lima: Editorial Horizonte, 1983); Alberto Flores Galindo, Buscando un Inca: Identidad y Utopia en los Andes (Lima: Instituto de Apoyo Agrario, 1987).Google Scholar
  14. 26.
    Andreo Matías, C.I.A., Sendero Luminoso: Guerra política (Lima: El Universo Gráfico, 1988).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© David Scott Palmer 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carlos Iván Degregori

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