Sei sulla pagina 1di 123

Loebenstein 0

Who was Sendero Luminoso? The Actors and

Motivations Behind the Shining Path of Peru

By Clara Loebenstein

A Thesis Submitted to the Program of Latin American Studies

Middlebury College
May 4, 2012

Advisors: Professor Jeff Cason and Roberto Pareja

Loebenstein 1

I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid on this assignment.

Clara Loebenstein
May 4, 2012

Loebenstein 2
I would like to thank both my advisors Jeff Cason and Roberto Pareja for all their
encouragement and support. This thesis would not have been possible without their
guidance and patience. I also want to thank my friends, family, and especially my parents
for their unwavering faith in my abilities. A special thank you goes to the Andrew W.
Mellon foundation for their funding of my research, as well as my advisor for this project
Enrique Garca, during my semester at the Pontificia Universidad Catlica del Per in
the Fall of 2010. Im grateful for the opportunity to produce work that combines my
passion for the study of terrorism, research done abroad, and my own national heritage.

Loebenstein 3

Table of Contents

Peru Map


Introduction: How to Explain the Internal Conflict in Peru

Human Motivation: Individuals and Groups


Psychological Motivation Theories


Self Determination Theory


Rational Choice Theory


Prospect Theory


Group Motivation and Collective Action


Subsistence Crisis and Peasant Revolutions


Agrarian Reform


Group Process Theories


Collective Action




Ideological Grievances


Capacity to organize: Mobilization and Political Opportunity


Social Identity Theory


Political Islands: Terrorist Motivations


Approaches to Understanding Terrorism




Normal Psychology




A Country Divided: Historys Role in Perus System of Inequalities


A History of Conquests and Economic Exploitation


Inequality in Peru: Semi Feudal Structures and Colonial Legacies


Military Governments and Dictatorships


Loebenstein 4
Universities: Birthplace of the Peruvian Left and the PCP


Ideology, Terrorism and the Armed Conflict


The Shining Path Strategy and The Armed Conflict


Military Response to Social Problems: Terror on Terror




Actors and Motivations


Senderos Main Base and the Role of the Efficiency of Communal Power Pacts 68

Leadership-Abimael Guzmn and his Foothold on the UNSCH


The Central Committee


The Base of Sendero: Andean Highland Peasants


Senderos Emphasis on Youth: The Role of Education in the PCP-SL 77

A System of Double Oppression: Women in Sendero Luminoso


Senderistas Made in Prisons


Indoctrinating the Children


Entre la espada y la pared: The Ashnika in the Peruvian Amazon

Factors of Motivation


Ideology of Social Change


Sendero as the Provider of a New Moral Order


Grievances: Exclusion, Discrimination and Abuse


The Role of Revenge for Senderistas in an Unequal Peru


Terror and Violence as a Means of Controlling the Population


A Slogan for Change


Conclusion of Actors and Motivation




Loebenstein 5


Loebenstein 6

This thesis presents the internal conflict in Peru from the perspective of the Peruvian
peasantry in order to analyze and determine who joined, as well as the why they joined,
including the various factors that may have motivated these people to join the Shining
Path. Basing my analysis on a variety of individuals using the Truth and Reconciliation
Committees documents as well as other sources, I explore specific cases to determine the
relationship between individual motivations and Senderos group cohesion. I stress that
many of the motivating reasons and problems academics describe such as socio economic
disparity, colonial and feudal legacies, racism towards the indigenous, and lack of state
presence are still issues present in Peru making certain kinds of citizens susceptible to
terrorism under alternative leadership. The states process of the dehumanization of
terrorists and the lack of attention paid to their testimonies parallels the lack of interest in
terrorist motivations. Furthermore, this thesis warns against the dangers of this process as
it propagates the faulty idea that military intervention will solve this complex issue that
continues to affect Perus security.
Esta tesis presenta la tragedia del conflicto interno en el Per desde la perspectiva del
campesinado peruano. Intento especificar quin se uni y por qu se unan, incluyendo
los diversos factores que posiblemente motivaron que estas personas se afilaran a
Sendero Luminoso. Mi anlisis toma en consideracin tanto a los individuos como los
documentos de la Comisin de Verdad y Reconciliacin peruana adems de otras fuentes.
Exploro casos especficos para determinar las relaciones entre las motivaciones
individuales y la cohesin grupal de Sendero. Enfatizo que muchas de las razones
motivadoras y los problemas que los acadmicos describen como la disparidad
socioeconmica del pas, la leyenda feudal, el racismo contra los indgenas y la falta de
presencia del estado todava son problemticos en el Per, lo cual hace que el pas siga
siendo susceptible al terrorismo bajo un liderazgo alternativo. El proceso de
deshumanizacin de los terroristas por parte del estado y la poca atencin prestada a sus
testimonios representan la falta de inters en el entendimiento de las motivaciones de los
terroristas. Adems, esta tesis advierte contra el peligro de este proceso ya que esto
contribuye a la propagacin de la idea errnea de que la intervencin militar va a resolver
este problema complejo que contina afectando la seguridad del Per.

Loebenstein 7

Introduction: How to Explain the Internal Conflict in Peru

The Communist Party of Peru (PCP-SL) also known as The Shining Path or
Sendero Luminoso in Spanish, was a Maoist guerrilla organization founded in the late
1960s, whose brutal activities during the 1980s and 1990s left Peru in one of the worst
political crises in the history of the country. It has been one of the most salient terrorist
insurgencies of the 20th century. The Shining Paths popularity in the central and southern
highlands of Peru can be attributed to various factors including a history of violent
repression, military coups and dictatorships, a social inequality consisting of a semifeudal and semi-colonial system and where the rise of the leftist groups allowed for the
means of politicization and the expression of grievances towards these legacies of
inequality. The Shining Path was determined to create a utopian Andean society through
the destruction of the semi feudal and semi colonial systems as well as anything that
represented authority or the state. This tragic period (1980s-2000), is known as the
Internal Conflict or guerra interna, characterized by a war between the government,
the Shining Path, and the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA). The Truth
and Reconciliation Committee, Comisin de la Verdad y Reconciliacin (CVR) in
Spanish, has concluded the total amount of casualties exceeds 69 thousand Peruvians
killed or missing at the hands of the insurgencies and state actors such as the military and
the police.

Loebenstein 8
In this thesis, I aim to explain the tragedy of this time in Peruvian history from the
perspective of the Peruvian peasantry, in order to analyze and determine who joined, as
well as the why they joined, including the various factors that may have motivated these
people to join the Shining Path. My question balances the individual and society in terms
of individuals and their motivation in combination with collective action. Without an
organization or structure, the individuals motivations would not have sufficed to form a
rebellious group. These questions deal with explaining the transition of individual
motivations to politically motivated group activity. Basing my analysis on a variety of
sources such as academic works, documentaries and the Truth and Reconciliation
Committees documents, I aim to analyze specific cases to determine the relationship
between the motivations and its effects on a variety of citizens. By looking at a variety of
militant profiles from this perspective, I will explore the connections between the
individual motivators and how it led to the Shining Path group cohesion. The reason I ask
this question, is to explore this conflict from the view of the Shining Path members, a
view that is foreign to many Peruvians.
This tragic time in Peru is a sensitive subject in that it encompasses racism,
economic and social disparity and violence employed not only from Sendero but also
from the state. Many Peruvians blame this tragedy on the military and the terrorists,
although the racism and classism involved in the terrorists blame is generally much
higher. I am specifically interested in individual motivations combined with group action
to explain who and why joined Sendero, without brushing off the problem with the
simple socio-economic racist explanation that many criollos tend to agree with. By a
criollo explanation I am referring to a highly common view of Senderistas as ignorant,

Loebenstein 9
indigenous cholos who are easily manipulated and motivated by socio economic
grievances and hatred against the rest of Peru. I want to see what kind of people joined
the Shining Path and the reasons behind this choice. Finally, this thesis will argue that the
reason why the majority of individuals joined the Shining Path is because the group
provided the physical and psychological needs outlined by Self Determination theory in
communities whose established system of justice and power was not effective.
Grievances, inequality and discontent all provided for an ideal mobilization of both the
intellectuals and the indigenous but it was what Sendero offered or replaced that really
drove and motivated the majority of members to join.

Human Motivation: Individuals and Groups

People are essentially concerned with motivation, that is, how to move themselves
or how to get others to act (Ryan and Deci). Everywhere teachers, counselors, parents,
managers and coaches struggle with how to motivate those they mentor, and individuals
struggle to find energy or gather effort and persist at the tasks of life and work (Ryan and
Deci). People are commonly motivated by external factors such as reward systems,
evaluations, grades or the opinion of others. However, people can also be motivated from
within by curiosity, interests, care or abiding values. Motivation is the internal process
that pushes or pulls the individual, and this force relates to a specific external event
(Ferguson 1). When we describe these internal forces, we describe how they initiate and
direct behavior. The concept of motivation is also used to explain differences in the
intensity of behavior as well as to indicate the direction of behavior (Petri 3). In this
thesis, the exploration of individual motivation literature leads to a comprehension of

Loebenstein 10
various factors that facilitate individual as well as group actions. It also helps clarify why
Shining Path members joined and how that is related to the motivation of the group as a
whole. Theories on individual and group motivation will frame the Peruvian case and
shed light on the actors as well as why these people joined Sendero Luminoso.
First, I establish a typological distinction between the different actors that
comprised Shining Path members: Andean highland peasants, intellectuals and students,
Amazonian indigenous, children and women. Then, I aim to use motivation theory to
help explain the motivations of the members within subgroups. The typology itself
mainly distinguishes the intellectuals, including students, from the work or bulk
force who have been the most hurt by the system. It is hard to determine which sub group
comprises the largest proportion of Senderistas as we cannot interview the deceased.
Since a majority of the first Senderistas were most likely killed during the conflict, we are
only left with interviews from those who have been caught and imprisoned. Thus, one
motivation theory cannot begin to explain the complexities of all the actors themselves
nor can it explain all motivations.
The purpose of my typology however, is to highlight the difference in motivation
through the division between the intellectual fathers of the movement and the actual
rank and file. As the rank and file includes the indigenous both Andean and Amazonian,
women and children, it makes up the largest sector of Senderistas. I will thus first explore
Self Determination Theory as it best describes the motivation of what I have deemed the
working force, the category with the larger proportion of Senderistas. As I will explore in
this chapter, this theory is the most individualized and accounts for missing components

Loebenstein 11
that other theories lack such why some joined the government forces to fight Sendero
Luminoso rather than join the ranks.
This chapter will explore a variety of psychological motivation theories and their
applications on the Peruvian case beginning with Self Determination Theory, then
Rational Choice Theory and lastly group motivation and Collective Action theories in
order to attempt to explain the possible motivations of Shining Path members. This next
looks beyond the individual and begins to go into the actions and identification of a
group. The last section will cover terrorism on its own in terms of the approaches used to
understand the term itself but also how anger, normal psychology, cause and methods
such as the staircase approach come into play in the Peruvian case. The theories
explored help create a larger picture literature available regarding human motivation in
joining terrorist groups while at the same time emphasizing the individualism (found in
SDT) of terrorists as humans.

Psychological Motivation Theories

In psychological motivation literature three approaches stand out: biological,
drive theory with incentives and learning, and lastly the cognitive. Biological theories
touch on ways in which instinct and physiology drive humans. Drive Theory addresses
development and direction of motivation by learning but also deals with extrinsic and
intrinsic incentives. The Cognitive psychological thought explores internal mental
processes and explores states such as belief, desires, ideas, knowledge and motivation.
According to Deci, the shift in cognitive theories in the 1960s led to the concept
of needs being replaced by goals as the dominant motivational concept (Deci 2000, 228).

Loebenstein 12
Consequently, the idea of psychological needs is considered essential for the
understanding of the content and process of goal pursuits. Without the concept of needs,
Richard Ryan and Edward Deci were unable to provide a meaningful interpretation in the
area of intrinsic motivation, which they consider to be a basic lifelong psychological
growth function and internalization. Needs are thus considered to be an essential aspect of
psychological integrity and social cohesion (Ryan and Deci 2000, 232).

Self Determination Theory

In terms of individual motivation, this thesis will emphasize Deci and Ryans Self
Determination Theory (SDT) as it describes the interplay between the extrinsic forces
action on persons and the intrinsic motives and needs inherent in human nature. Most
importantly, SDT focuses on how the cultural and social factors that facilitate or
undermine peoples sense of volition and initiative as well as their well being and the
quality of their performance in daily life. Conditions that support the individuals
experience are characterized in this theory by autonomy, competence, and relatedness.
These factors are argued to encourage the most human conviction, high quality forms of
motivation, and engagement for activities, persistence and creativity (Ryan and Deci).
Autonomy or self-regulation and self-organization convey an adaptive advantage.
Autonomy also includes the tendency to work toward inner coherence as well as to juggle
inner demands and goals. The development of an integrated self reflects a deep inner
design of the human organism toward self-cohesion and avoids self-fragmentation (Ryan
and Deci 254). Competence or being effective refers to the human tendency or nature to
engage in optimal challenges and experiences in the physical and social worlds.

Loebenstein 13
Relatedness in SDT describes the need to seek attachment and experience feelings of
security of belongingness and intimacy with others. (Ryan and Deci 253). It categorizes
people as social organisms where individuals organize themselves with respect to the
larger social entity (Ryan and Deci 253). A cohesive group provides an adaptive value of
resource sharing and mutual protection (Ryan and Deci 253). The need for relatedness
can at times compete or conflict with autonomy but it is the interplay between individual
integration and integration of the individual into the larger social whole (Ryan and Deci
Furthermore, intrinsically motivated behaviors represent the prototype of selfdetermined activities as they are activities that people are doing naturally when they are
able to follow their true personal or inner interests (Ryan and Deci 234). Research shows
that when extrinsic rewards such as money are introduced for doing an intrinsically
interesting activity, people begin to feel controlled by the rewards, which causes a shift in
the perceived locus of causality for the behavior from internal to external. However,
events such as negative feedback that promote perceived incompetence tend to
undermine intrinsic motivation while positive feedback events that foster perceived
competence tend to enhance intrinsic motivation (Ryan and Deci 235). Both intrinsic and
extrinsic motivations play a role in explaining the actors of the Shinning Path.
Furthermore, it is the intrinsic motivations related to what the Shining Path offered
people that will help explain the application of this theory on the Peruvian case.

Application of SDT on the Peruvian Case

Loebenstein 14
The three psychological needs (autonomy, competence, and relatedness) proposed
by SDT serve as a base for a possible interpretation of why certain Peruvians (mostly
peasants and students from the southern highlands) joined the Shining Path. The
application of Self Determination Theory to the Peruvian case would be to assume that
the Shining Path as a group was able to fulfill the psychological needs of those who
joined, which was better than the alternative of daily life. According to the CVR most of
the deaths occurred in the Andean highlands, then, there is a strong correlation between
Shining Path presence in this region. In this interpretation, SDT would be highlighting
the fact that daily life for the Andean peasantry did not provide for autonomy,
competence or relatedness. Of course this can also be applied to Amazonian indigenous
tribes, women, children and many more actors, but the bulk of the movement tends to be
the aggregate force recruited by the intellectuals from various regions of the highlands.
The political environment of the central-southern Andes was one that prevented
individuals from achieving their need for competence. Abimael Guzmn, the leader of the
group, contributed to the rise of Sendero Luminoso in the specific province of
Huamanga, also known as Ayacucho. Here it is necessary to explore the political
atmosphere of the time as it contextualizes the turbulence associated with Peruvian
Politics of the time as it relates to SDT. The tumultuous political scene in the 1960s
provided conditions that lead to many radical groups where the tensions between the
Soviet Union and the Peoples Republic of China resulted in fierce debates among
Peruvian communists regarding the role of the party and the nature of the revolution
(Poole 30). As a result, the Peruvian Communist Party split in 1964 into pro Soviet and
pro Chinese parties, which were the Peruvian Communist Party Unidad (PCP-U) and the

Loebenstein 15
Peruvian Communist Party Bandera Roja (PCP-BR). The majority of national leadership
and finances went with Unidad while students joined Bandera Roja. PCP-BR, led by
lawyer Saturino Paredes, shaped its Maoist inspired ideology and concentrated its
grievances on the semi feudal and semi colonial nature of Peruvian society. Seen from
Ayacucho or the central and southern highlands, Peru according to Carlos Degregori has
much that is semi feudal. Degregori argues that while landowners have practically
disappeared, there are still local bosses with their economic base of support-commercial
capital which leaves its trail of coercion and abuses (Degregori 2010, 244-5). With this
they championed a peoples war which would move from the countryside to the city
(Poole 31). The PCP-BR did not last long and a splinter group formed into Patria Roja or
PCP-PR. Three years later in 1970 Guzmn led his own splinter group out of the PCP-BR
to form the PCP-SL Sendero Luminoso (Poole 31). During the 1960s Guzmn had led
hundreds of political meetings and discussion attracting university students from peasant
families as well as women (Crenshaw 51). In contrast to other groups, the Shining Path
was committed to intensive long-term political work in the countryside (Crenshaw 51).
Divisiveness among the left is not an uncommon theme in Latin America. In Peru, this
divisiveness led to the weakening of the political left. As a result peasants who may have
felt isolated and desperate for change, the Shining Path provided the ideology and means
for a sense of competence.
In the application of Self Determination Theory on the Peruvian case, autonomy
and relatedness are equally important. According to Cynthia McClintock, Perus southern
highlands are a place where people earn little, die young, are mostly illiterate and exist
usually without basic human services (59). Southern highland peasant incomes are

Loebenstein 16
significantly lower than on the coast and somewhat lower than the northern highlands
(Cajamarca) or the central highlands (Junn and Pasco) (McClintock 59). Its altitude of
over 12,000 feet, as well as its arid, windy and rocky terrain characterizes the southern
highlands. Poverty levels in this area increased relative to the 1950s and 1960s while
food consumption fell in the 70s (McClintock 59).1 In a study conducted by the Peruvian
government, daily per capita intake among lower-class people throughout the country
was found to have decreased from 1,934 calories per capita in 1972 to 1,486 in 1979 (a
mere 63 percent of Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
requirements) (McClintock 59). Furthermore in the southern highlands as of 1980,
individuals were at 420 calories per day (McClintock 59). In this climate it can be argued
that the Shining Paths ideology and goals created incentives for people to rise up, as it
would enable autonomy and relatedness through the group that united communities. In
addition, between 1968 and 1980 the military regimes under General Velasco Alvarado
(1968-1975) and then under General Morales Bermdez (1975-1980) created agricultural
reforms advantageous for the peasantry on the coast but generally not in the highlands
(McClintock 64). Feeling isolated and negatively affected by both Velascos2 agrarian
reforms and by Belaundes3 agricultural policies between 1968 and 1980, many Peruvians
in this region turned to the Shining Path to fulfill both their psychological and material
needs rather than remaining in the conditions they were in.

Rational Choice Theory


McClintock in Why Peasants Rebel. The Case of Perus Sendero Luminoso analyses the
various indicators of the increase in poverty in the highlands using Word Bank data (6061).
President and Dictator Juan Velasco Alvarado governed from 1968 to 1975
President Fernando Belande Terry governed from 1980 to 1985

Loebenstein 17
Rational Choice theorists would argue that the actions and motivations of an
individual could not be solely explained by the concept of psychological needs. They do
argue psychology plays a role but emphasize humans as rational beings who make
calculated decisions. Most rational choice models argue that individuals act rationally in
the pursuit of what they determine to be their best interest (McDermott 50). John Scott
argues that Rational Choice Theory (RCT) adopts a methodological individualist position
that attempts to explain all social phenomena in terms of these rational calculations made
by self-interested individuals. Scott makes the case that motivation is modeled on
economic actions, that is, people are motivated by the costs and rewards of their actions
thus they are fueled by possible profit. However, he also explains how some rational
choice theorists have seen rationality as a result of psychological conditioning while
others assume that individuals act as if they were completely rational.
If applied to the Peruvian case, the obvious explanation is that Sendero offered a
unique opportunity for attaining some level of power or recognition (Poole 40). For
example, Sendero offered women leadership and militancy positions rather than
demeaning work such as domestic services in cities such as Lima (Poole 40). The
controversial aspects of RCT leads me to its weaknesses and problems in explaining
terrorists groups such as the Shining Path since it fails to explain why individuals join
groups or associations. More importantly, scholars have argued against the rationality
of terrorist actions. Jeff Victoroff cites Martha Crenshaws warnings that the terrorists
goals often appears extremely unlikely to be achieved by the chosen method of action and
that it is consequently difficult to support a rationalist theory of terrorism (Victoroff 15).

Loebenstein 18
In this context in order to talk about SL as a terrorist group it is necessary to point
out, the difficulty in defining terrorism. As this thesis refers to Shining Path members as
terrorists who are committing terrorist acts, it is important to define the term. A
concise definition of terrorism is the threat of violence and the use of
fear to coerce, persuade, and gain public attention (Rogers 173) There
is also political terrorism which can be defined as the use or threat of use of violence of
an individual or group, acting in ones own interest or by an established authority, in order
to create anxiety or fear for a group as well as the immediate victims with the purpose of
forcing this group to cede to the political demands of the perpetrators (Rogers 2008).
This definition allows for an understanding of the Shining Path and in
the light of RCT, it allows us to see how terrorism could be considered
Additionally Victoroff has argued that the inhumanity of civilian attacks also
challenges the notion of rational behavior (15). Thus the application of RCT on the
Peruvian case reinforces the idea that the peasants of the southern highlands, as self
interested individuals were motivated by the costs and rewards of their actions even
though the theories weakness is its inability to classify violent terrorist acts as rational.
Furthermore, since rationality does not require that the decision maker to have the
complete information the outcome may or may not be in the individuals self interest
(McDermott 51).

Prospect Theory

Loebenstein 19
Psychological theories of decision-making have also focused on Prospect Theory,
which has proved influential and important in political science and political psychology.
Developed by psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky (1979) Prospect
Theory is a psychological theory of decision making under conditions of risk as it
weighs potential loss (McDermott 69). In this theory, the editing phase, frames the effects
or how the decisions are presented while the second phase evaluates how choices are
made (McDermott 69). In this theory framing refers to how options are presented,
which is important since decisions can be affected by the method, order or manner of
presentation (McDermott 70). Tversky established that people demonstrate a natural
aversion to extreme situations or options, which is why by creating one more extreme
option he was able to encourage a decision maker to choose the middle option that had
previously seemed unacceptable without the contrast effect of the even more extreme
additional option (McDermott 70). The second phase or evaluation involves a value
function and a weighing function. More importantly, Prospect Theory has been applied
to a variety of political science uses such as loss aversion, the status quo bias, framing
issues, deterrence and bargaining negotiations, and American foreign policy (McDermott
73). The theory has however encountered many problems such as its failure to delineate
some of the underlying mechanisms of framing effects, its applicability to group
interactions, and it weakness in the notion of the reference point to where the status quo
Using Prospect Theory sheds light on a particular issue of the Peruvian case,
which concerns how choices seemed to be framed for many of the individuals who
decided to join the Shining Path. Was it economic desperation, was it the lesser of two

Loebenstein 20
evils, was it a way to be heard politically, was it vengeance, or was it forced upon them?
Did peasants and students who joined have a choice or where their choices somehow
framed by the leaders of Sendero such as Guzmn and his Central Committee? This
theory, even with its clearest weaknesses such as its failure to delineate the underlying
mechanisms of framing effects, its inapplicability to group interactions and the
difficulties in terms of defining the status quo, does shed light on the idea that perhaps the
Shining Path or the government unintentionally or intentionally framed the choices
available to many Peruvians. Through the framing of choices, this theory is helpful to
understanding the notion that those susceptible to Sendero may have been manipulated
through framing as choices were presented in more radical ways. If the options available
to people were radicalized or reduced it is possible to see how some may have interpreted
their situation as dire and acted upon their perception and or feeling of disparity. Thus, for
some, joining the Shining Path may have been due to a feeling of reduced choice as
Prospect theory illustrates. It may be then through this narrow frame that leans towards
the PCP-SL that people found the Shining Path to achieve their psychological needs.
Prospect Theory in some ways attempts to explain the radical or extreme options
available to people which may hint at why some chose SL to fulfill their needs rather than
remain in their then current conditions.
Similarly to Prospect theory, an approach coined by professor of psychology and
director of the Georgetown Conflict Resolution Program, Fathali M. Moghaddam focuses
on the social and psychological processes that lead to terrorists acts. This theory provides
for an alternative interpretation of the idea that choices or options are framed and as
situations progress the choices or in this case doors seem to close for an individual. To

Loebenstein 21
explain this, Moghaddam envisions a narrowing stairway leading to a terrorist act at the
top of a building (70). The stairway leads to higher floors and whether people remain on a
particular door depends on the doors and spaces people perceive available to them on that
floor (Moghaddam 70). The further one climbs, the fewer choices one sees until the the
only possible outcome is the destruction of others, or oneself, or both (Moghaddam 70).
The ground floor of this spatial metaphor relates to the multiple psychological
interpretations of the material conditions. Moghaddam explains how poverty and lack of
education are problematic explanations and that research suggests that the perception of
said deprivation is even more important (70). The perception of deprivation can be
individualistic or fraternal. Next is the first floor, embodying the perceived option to fight
unfair treatment. Here the individual may or may not perceive possibilities for personal
mobility to improve their situation as well as perceptions of procedural justice. If no
doors are available they climb to the second floor, which Moghaddam labels the floor of
the displacement of aggression. Moghaddam emphasizes the Freudian view that leaders
play a critical role in redirecting negative emotions within a group to others outside (73).
The targets of this displacement are not random, rather dissimilar outsiders who
become a threat for the in-group cohesion (Moghaddam 73). The redirection of emotions
of the individual by a group adds to the concept of the annihilation of the individual: the
consumption of the individual by the group dynamics. When coupled with culture this
argument could be perceived as racist as it would illustrate how terrorist groups are
produced in specific cultures group dynamics and environments. Next is the third floor,
also labeled as moral engagement as it represent the floor where recruits can be
persuaded in their commitment to the morality of the terrorist organization as it would

Loebenstein 22
justify the struggle to achieve their idealized society (Moghaddam 74). By the same
token, the fourth floor creates a categorical us versus them worldview providing the
individual little opportunity to leave with their life (Moghaddam 74). Lastly, on the fifth
and final floor the point of view that the organizations acts of violence against civilians
are justified since civilians are part of the enemy as they do not actively oppose the
enemy (Moghaddam 75).
This stairway approach considers terrorism as a moral problem with a base in
psychology and argues that the main challenge in fighting terrorism is to prevent the
disaffected youth and others from becoming engaged in the morality of terrorist
organizations. By defining terrorism as a moral issue, Moghaddam warns against the
contemporary tendency to solve social issues with technology and the necessity to focus
policy on the problems at the bottom of the staircase instead of those who have already
committed terrorist acts (77). This approach is relevant to the Peruvian case in that the
classification of steps towards a terrorist act may begin to explain why the Shining Path
initially chose to expand their movement through education towards an isolated
population who would more likely perceive closed doors. Using this kind of approach to
determine why people commit a terrorist act does not necessarily explain why people join
the group to begin with. Another weakness to this approach is that it rests on the
subjective individual perception of closed or open doors.

Group Motivation and Collective Action

i. Subsistence Crisis and Peasant Revolutions

Loebenstein 23
Theories on individual motivation are not enough to explain the motives of those
who joined Sendero. The link between individual motivators whether rationally based or
need based is key in understanding group actions. Since the origins of the Shining Path
are established in Ayacucho and its peasantry, an analysis of group actions is necessary to
understand their motivations. Literature on subsistence threat and peasant revolution by
scholars such as James Scott, Samuel Popkin and Theda Skocpol also contribute to this
kind of understanding. James Scott focuses on subsistence crises as the root elements in
revolutionary movements while Samuel Popkin doubts the relationship between
subsistence threat or decline and collective response. Popkin argues that the perception of
crisis by peasants changes as the social and political contexts change. Skocpol believes
that one should concentrate on the political world around the peasants and less on the
socioeconomic circumstances (McClintock 58). She argues that it would be impossible to
empirically document deprivation since grievances are more or less a constant of peasant
life and that even when a certain group of peasants are unusually deprived, their
deprivation level is subjective (Id. 58).
On the other hand, in her article Why Peasants Rebel: The Case of Perus Sendero
Luminoso, Cynthia McClintock demonstrates the high correlation between the
subsistence crisis or the peasants perception of the crisis in Peru and rural peasant
protest. Her main arguments are that (a) a subsistence crisis was very important in the
Peruvian case and (b) that the type of agrarian structure that was most conductive to
revolutionary activity was in this case that Ayacuchan peasants who were mobilized by
the Shining Path guerillas were predominantly smallholders and relatively unintegrated
into the capitalist market economy.

Loebenstein 24
Furthermore, McClintock argues that if the state plays an active role in
agricultural policy making and a subsistence crisis occurs, then the peasantry is likely to
blame the governments policies. During Fernando Belande Terrys government in 1980,
key agricultural policies-land tenure and terms of trade-turned against the peasantry from
all geographical areas. The price of potatoes, a key produce in the highlands, also fell
drastically during Belandes government (McClinktock 68). More importantly for the
applicability of the peasant rebellion theory, there has been no government in Peru to
favor southern highland peasants. In 1977, for example, the agrarian area that benefited
the least was Ayacucho. There the value of property was 4,900 soles per family compared
to 162,288 in Lima, 108,580 in Ica, 105,317 in Lambayeque, 62,171 in Puno, and 10,074
in Cuzco (McClintock 66). Furthermore, between 1970 and 1990 there was an increase of
cases of chronic malnutrition from 985,700 to 5,753,600 out of a total population of 22
million (Poole 23). The southern highlands are almost exclusively agricultural in an area
ill suited for it. McClintock makes sure to address additional factors that might have
contributed to the peasants perception of the crisis such as population growth, which is
directly tied to the scarcity of land, and its problems with erosion.
Overall McCLintock points out that the relationship between the subsistence crisis
in Peru and the rural peasants perception of crisis is critical in understanding the uprising
by Sendero. Her view helps explain the perception of crisis in the highlands but her
conclusions do not distinguish between communities that rebelled and those who did not.
Additionally the separation between the work force and the intellectuals within Sendero
is critical as leads us to understand differences in motivation. As the rank and file
includes the indigenous both Andean and Amazonian, women and children, it makes up

Loebenstein 25
the largest sector of Senderistas. It is however, SDT that best describes this majority
category as it answers why some Peruvians joined the government forces to fight Sendero
Luminoso rather than join the ranks of the terrorists.

ii. Agrarian Reform

In Peru, geopolitics is important to understand agrarian reform. McClintock
addresses this point and emphasizes the Shining Path revolt took place after a major
agrarian reform. She suggests this case adds to Scotts argument, which focuses on
subsistence crises as fundamental in revolutionary movements. The Ayacucho area is
specific in that it is remote but also has a university. The University of San Cristbal de
Huamanga in Ayacucho, was re founded in 1959 after almost three hundred years and
created a means for young university-educated radicals to forge a working alliance with
the peasantry in Ayacucho (McClintock 50). Along with Velascos agrarian reform, which
had a minimal effect in the southern highlands, Ayacuchos political space was expanded
allowing the peasantry to become more and more politicized. Political space or the social,
economic and electoral issues within a certain time period in a countrys politics is a term
that contextualizes the tumultuous atmosphere of the rising left in Peru.
The key debate in peasant revolution literature question what kind of group is
more disposed to insurrection. The groups include landless rural wage earners or peasant
smallholders. The literature inquires which of these peasants lives are most disrupted by
the intrusion of capitalism and are therefore most inclined to rebel (McClintock 58).
Jeffery Paige has argued for landless rural wage earners while James Scott and Eric Wolf

Loebenstein 26
maintain that smallholders, more likely living in isolation or cohesive villages, retain precapitalist values making them more inclined towards resistance (McClintock 73). On the
other hand, Theda Skocpol agrees with Wolff on the importance of peasant autonomy to
revolutionary actions but suggests that the issue of agrarian structure is irrelevant
(McClintock 74). These debates as well as McClintocks contribution to Scotts argument
make a strong case for the correlation between the subsistence crisis and the peasant
rebellion starting in Ayacucho.
Although the article provides a convincing argument for the highlands, it does not
address why Peruvians in other geographic areas also joined Sendero. The theory fails to
address that not all Shining Path militants were peasants from the southern highlands and
even though it provides evidence for the subsistence crisis throughout the country and
mainly in the highlands, it does not connect the diversity of militant profiles. For this
reason the typology separating the work force and the intellectuals helps with the
applicability of a theory like this to specific subgroups to the masses, specifically the
highland peasants. When discussing revolutionary actions such as McClintocks peasant
revolt theory, it is helpful to review Schwartzs concept of revolutionary identity. He
states that beyond alienation and anger, revolutionary identity involves the following:
total commitment to revolutionary change, desperation, the enemy as inhumane and
conspiratorial, the development of divergent or revisionist interpretations of history
developed (so it appears that the enemy was inhuman, history becomes a collection of
past wrongs, which the revolutionary must right), individuals are self-righteous because
of the purity of ones motives and the monumental character of ones struggle, one is selfrighteous because one appeals to higher values than the law and order of the system and

Loebenstein 27
finally the enemy of the enemy becomes a friend (Schwartz 242-43). Overall, it is not just
the perception of crisis and agrarian reforms that played a role in determining who
decided to join the Shining Path but is was also the desperation, as Schwartz outlines in
his concept of revolutionary identity.

Group process theories

Theories of group process include a psychological approach that explains terrorism
as the product of group psychology within idiosyncratic subcultures that coalesce in
reaction to circumstances they perceive intolerable (Victoroff 30). Such group forces
that incite violence through ideological indoctrination, repetitive training or peer pressure
are hypothesized to influence individuals behavior within a group whether or not the
members had been predisposed to violent behavior (Victoroff 30). According to Jeff
Victoroff this may be because the collective identity subsumes individual identity (30).
However, the principle debate between individual and group actions centers on whether
the groups dynamics are sufficient to turn an average person into a terrorist or whether
individual history or personality factors into the equation (Victoroff 30). In the case of
Peru this argument hints at the fact that Sendero Luminoso in some ways subsumed the
identity of the individual, allowing for a depersonalization of individuality.
Terrorism is not solely a group phenomenon but rather the result of social processes,
which interact with individuals and their dispositions towards these movements
(Victoroff 31). Victoroff proposes three conditions: intense deprivation, ideologized
group discontent, the in group as cohesive and clearly differentiated from the out group,
where the individuals tendency for violence is a minor factor in the groups terrorist

Loebenstein 28
turning procedure (31). If the Shining Path group identity swallowed up individuals then
it would still not explain why certain people became members and others did not.
Although this theory bridges the idea of individuals with group action, in order to
understand the Shining Path it is necessary to examine the principles of individuals with
common interest which brings us to collective action theories. These same individualistic
principles are why this chapter leans towards Self Determination Theory and how the
Shining Path provided missing psychological and material needs for the majority of the
indigenous as well as students in Peru at the time.

Collective Action
Providing insight on when individuals act collectively, in his book The Logic of
Collective Action, Mancur Olson argues that if members of a specific group have a
common interest or objective, and if they would all be better off it that objective was
achieved, then if the individuals in this group are rational and self interested, they will act
to achieve that objective (Lupia and Gisela 315). He argues that people naturally join
groups but that the main problem with collective action includes incentives to free
ride4. That is, the benefit from the efforts of others if a group is working to provide
public goods5. Free riding can be avoided if the group only provides benefits to active

The common example to explain this concept in political science has to do with
pollution. For example if each of us pollutes less by paying a bit extra for our cars then
we all benefit from the reduction of harmful gasses and cleaner air. In this case we take
clean air to be a collective good. However less pollution is not as important for everyone
so some people may not contribute their share. Someone may be a free rider on the
beneficial actions of others. This is one of the problems of collective action.
public goods are non-excludable goods (one person cannot prevent another from
consuming the good; ie air) but also non-rivalrous (a persons consumption does not
affect anothers)

Loebenstein 29
participants. Furthermore the size of the group matters in that large groups will face high
organizational costs whereas small groups will face relatively low costs.
Insurgencies, social movements dissidents and guerillas serve as the major descriptors
of those actors we must look at when applying collective action principles to terrorism. In
his article, Explaining Terrorism: The Contribution of Collective Action Theory, Anthony
Oberschall highlights four major dimensions of the theory applied to terrorism. He
stresses that terrorism is not the act of madmen or of political and religious sociopaths
but of political agents who choose covert, violent means to achieve political goals, be
they ethno national, religious, or ideological (27). Oberschall considers collective action
dimensions since he also proposes that one has to explain why a small group chooses to
break from or differentiate from a larger political movement with similar political goals
and often with less violent (sometimes nonviolent), or more conventional means
(Oberschall 28).
The first dimension of collective action Oberschall considers important is that of
widespread discontent and dissatisfaction for which the usual means of relief are thought
to be lacking. The second involves ideology or belief systems spread widely in a
population, which frames discontent into legitimate grievances. The ideology holds
political leaders and elites responsible, transforms discontent into grievances, legitimizes
a change or reform sought as a remedy for problems, and justifies violent means. The
third is the capacity to organize or in other words mobilization through recruitment,
fundraising, leadership, internal communication, and decision-making. The last
dimension is that of political opportunity or public opinion support, political allies, a
favorable international climate, and in the case of terrorism, support and sponsorship on

Loebenstein 30
or on the contrary, the loss of such opportunities. This kind of interpretation of collective
action allows us to look at the Peruvian case through each dimension; discontent,
grievances, organizational capacity, and political opportunity. These lenses of collective
action show the importance of deeply rooted ethnic divisions that define social and
economic structures as well as the exploitation of the Indian. The grievances that stem
from these legacies, combined with the historical and culturally embedded stigma against
the indigenous allowed for the mobilization of collective action in the highlands.
Education inspired by Senderistas working at the UNSCH may have been a way out for
this discontent

i. Discontent
When looking at Peru through the Oberschalls dimension of discontent we must
look first to socio economics. As defined by the World Bank, the socioeconomic structure
of Peru is one of the most unequal in Latin America. At the base of Perus history are
semi feudal structures and colonial Spanish legacies that create a vast inequality between
the population on the coast and the more distant population such as the Andean
highlands. The socioeconomic disparities in Peru come from these old structures and are
reinforced through stigmas that cover ethnicity, language, education, and poverty. The
semi feudal nature comes from the legacies of the Spanish colonizers. This semi feudality
is expressed in the landlordism and slavery in which capitalism and imperialism is
developed (Granados 168). Jos Carlos Maritegui, a Peruvian journalist, political
philosopher and activist introduced this idea in the 1930s for the PCP-SL (Granados 168).
Maritegui, the founder of the Socialist Party of Peru (1928) is known for his Seven

Loebenstein 31
Interpretive Essays on Peruvian Reality (1928) where he attempts to create a bridge from
Marxism to the Peruvian reality. In his vision the peasantry carried the major weight of
slavery especially during the historic exploitation of natural minerals all throughout the
country. He further highlighted the importance of the problem of the Indian by
considering it a problem with and of the land (Garca 89). Coined by Maritegui, this
stigma known as el problema del indio has been one of the most talked about themes in
sociology, anthropology, and Peruvian politics.6
Similarly to the semifeudal structure described, a second measure of discontent
could also be attributed to colonial legacies. The historical divisions of Peru in
republics (one for Indians and another for Spaniards) as well as the system of curacas7
and repartimientos8 created social and economic divisions that persisted until colonial
times (Starn 1995). The curacas were part of the indigenous nobility that the Spanish
designated authority to where they controlled manual labor for workers especially in
agriculture and mining. The repartimientos served to systematize forced labor where
Indians would work and undetermined amount of years for the Spanish. It is critical to
mention this part of Peruvian history since these structures have created deeply rooted
cultural and ethnic divisions. All the colonial economic and social structures were based
on the exploitation of the Indian.

ii. Ideological grievances


Similarily to Maritegui, the famous Peruvian novelist, poet and anthropologist Jos
Mara Arguedas was also considered part of the South American Indigenista movement.
His main novels which expand on the clash between Western civilization and the
indigenous way of life include the following: Yawar fiesta (1941), Los ros profundos
(1958), 1964 Todas las sangres, and El zorro de arriba y el zorro de abajo (1969).
Position of authority over Indians during the colonial period
Colonial Spanish system of forced labor that was later replaced by encomiendas

Loebenstein 32
It is important to mention how differences in ethnicity are described since this
leads to inequality and the base for some of the ideology-feeding grievances.
Theoretically ethnicity is defined through race, language, religion and place of origin
(Figueroa e Barron 2005). Language is only partially representative of ethnicity in Peru
given that some descendants of indigenous people only speak indigenous languages but
Spanish is common even in regions that had pre-colonial civilizations (Figueroa e Barron
2005). Another insufficient indicator would be religion. Peru is about 95 percent
Catholic, which includes all kinds of ethnicities (Figueroa e Barron 2005). Because of
the limitations in language and religion, it is necessary to analyze ethnicity in Peru by
place of origin.
The division of ethnic groups, the casta system, in Peru is described by
academics as unjust therefore it feeds grievances in lower economic sectors such as the
indigenous. Ethnicity in Peru can be simplified into three groups; white people, mixed
people also known as mestizos and indigenous people. White people are mainly found in
Lima and larger cities in Provinces. Mestizos are in all parts and Indians are normally in
very rural areas. Figueroa and Barron argue that to distinguish between these three
categories one can highlight three natural regions. The capital Lima can be divided in two
areas, central Lima where a majority of white people live and the periphery where a
majority of the immigrants live. The Andean region can be divided into the southern
Andes where Quechua and Aymara are spoken and the central and northern Andes where
Spanish dominates Quechua. The last region is comprised of the Amazonian area
(Figueroa e Barron 2005). These divides are evident not only in the socioeconomic
disparity that comes with the more indigenous Peruvians but also through the stigmas

Loebenstein 33
associated with the indigenous. These historically rooted divides are now represented in
these stigmas but also in the struggle found in the novels of indigenistas.
As previously mentioned the serranos also known as andinos or people from the
Andes in English are the most stigmatized in this hierarchal society. Those born in the
Amazon are also strongly stigmatized although the indigenous people from the coast are
slightly better off and called costeos.9 Those from Lima or the periphery are seen as
limeos and have the highest status. These stigmas are well known across Peru but not
particularly talked about. The literacy levels are lower in the Andean regions, education is
worse, sanitary conditions are poor, and people suffer from extreme poverty. The tie
between ethnicity and prosperity or opportunity in Peru leads to grievances that are
publicly but for the most part privately expressed. The Shining Path became an
opportunity to express this.
Equally important to this idea of grievances stemming, the psychology of cause
approach deals with the immediacy of death and how group values become stronger, the
closer the threat of death is. Cultural values can include nationality, family, religion and
more (McCauley19). According to McCauley,
dozens of experiments have shown that thinking about death-especially their
own-leads people to embrace the values of their culture more strongly. Their
values do not have to be explicitly religious. Many of the terrorist groups
since World War II have been radical-socialist groups with purely secular
roots: the Red Brigade in Italy, the Baader-Meinhoff Gang in Germany, the
Shining Path in Peru, the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka (19).
Under this reasoning, the Shining Path members may have been strongly inclined
towards terrorism through cultural values such a shared indigenous identity that
intensified with the violence the armed forces and police used against the indigenous

In Spanish: people from the coast

Loebenstein 34
during the 1980s. The widespread national fear could have a direct link to the
intensification of a populations cultural values as well as the anti state sentiments
stemming from the states responsibility for injustices in Peruvian society represented in
Senderos ideology. The indigenous identity as a regional one could also have furthered
anti state sentiments, another form of an ideological grievance.
iii. Capacity to organize: Mobilization and Political Opportunity
In the context of the rural city of Ayacucho, Obershalls last two dimensions of collective
action applied to terrorism are important. These include the capacity to organize and
political opportunity. Political movements in the 1980s created a movement inspired first
of all in education since populations wanted to recover free education that had been
eliminated during Velascos government. They wanted a kind of democracy against the
mistis10 and the local leaders, as well as to find a kind of justice and their place in the
national society (Degregori 2010). For the indigenous peasantry, education served as a
way out of these colonial legacies. In terms of political opportunity, the Shining Path used
el problema del indio and all the associated stigmas as the base of their political
arguments to mobilize the highland population.

Pyschology of crisis may lead to

understanding political opportunity for the marginalized indigenous of Peruvian society.

Psychology of crisis observes the apocalyptic worldview of terrorists in that the
balance between good and evil hangs on their actions (McCauley 21). This kind of
mentality leads to end times or the millenarian idea that when it is ten minutes to
midnight, there is little to lose and everything to gain (McCauley 21). Comparatively,
the psychology of the slippery slope is similar in that it discuses the sense of crisis
although it differs in that it asserts that a crisis is the end of a long trajectory. Sprinzak


Loebenstein 35
(1991) has distinguished three stages in this trajectory: a confidence crisis, in which a
group critically protests and demonstrates against the prevailing political system yet
accepts the systems values; a legitimacy conflict, in which the group looses confidence
in reform and presses for a competing ideological and cultural system while moving to
angry protest and small-scale violence; and a legitimacy crisis, in which the group
embraces terrorist violence against the government (McCauley 20-21). The metaphor of
the slippery slope implies the dangerous effects of a person joining an extreme group or a
group that gradually turns this way since the extremity is augmented through very small
steps which leads to the individual not realizing ever having made an explicit choice. In
terms of the Shining Path, this could illustrate the common Latin American norm of
believing that his or her actions were not at all radical rather the correct path towards
justice against the oppressing and corrupt society. The dire need for a new kind of
democracy was considered a crisis for the Peruvian indigenous and even leftists students
at the time. These ideas highlight the political opportunity SL had using crisis as a tool
for mobilizing not only the indigenous but also the intellectuals. In this sense Sendero
attempted to show how by joining them, how the much needed new system of justice
would be better than the present system of inequality.

Social Identity Theory

Allison Smith describes Social Identity Theory, another dominant social
psychological theory that addresses group behavior (Smith 58). The theory distinguishes
between personal identities, which define individuals in relation to other individuals, and
social identities, which define individuals in terms of their membership in significant

Loebenstein 36
categories and groups (Smith 58). In her article Smith describes how Tajfel and Turner, in
their article The Social Identity Theory of Intergroup behavior, argue that membership
in political or social groups becomes salient to individuals who experience a process of
depersonalization (58). In other words, they begin to view themselves as interchangeable
members of the whole group instead of as individuals (Smith 58). Similar to Victoroffs
point on group process theories, they emphasize that group membership effects group
members behavior towards others inside and outside the group and specifically the
tendency towards out-group hostility or derogation as well as favoring those within the
group (Smith 58).
Although different in its approach, early Freudian theory describes group behavior
through the role that instincts or motives play on its behavior (Smith 58). In Civilization
and Its Discontents as well as Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego, Freud
argues that participating in a group allows members to express the two basic human
instincts (Smith 58). These instincts are that of life which aim to bind things together
and that of death which tear things apart. Furthermore, Freud believed the group provided
members with their need for connection to others but that the existence of external
enemies also facilitated out-group aggression. In brief, both Freuds theory of group
psychology and Social Identity theory focus on the tendency of groups to privilege their
own members and express out-group hostility or aggression (Smith 50).
Furthermore, Smith explores terrorist dynamics through a quantitative content
analysis of documents issued by 13 different terrorist groups and non-terrorist
comparison groups. Her study concludes that compared to non-terrorist counterparts,
terrorist groups expressed significantly higher levels of in-group affiliation motive

Loebenstein 37
imagery in both the gull and indicator samples (69). Furthermore, indicating that
affiliation motive of terrorist groups is more focused on the creation of an us while the
comparison groups were more focused on blurring the lines between the us and them
(Smith 69).
In summary, these theories shed light on the possibility that the Shining Path
group membership provided for an extremely cohesive structure, allowing for a
depersonalization effect. By indoctrinating militants with a fatalist sense of their lives,
Abimael Guzmn was able to perpetuate his idea of cuota de sangre11, which the
population had to pay in order for the Shining Paths struggle to triumph. This also tied
into the millenarian aspect of Sendero and how this idea allows for the further
radicalization of the militants. Finally, the militaristic and ideological training given to
Shining Path members created extreme in-group cohesion. This allows for the application
of theories regarding the hostile treatment towards out-group individuals.

Political Islands: Terrorist Motivations

Having looked at the variety of theories that address individual motivations as
well as collective or group action and their applications on the Peruvian case, we now
turn to look at the act of terrorism itself. As individuals choose this path for specific
reasons and as group dynamics come into play, we must look at the theories and scholarly
work of terrorist action itself. As previously mentioned, the search for an adequate
definition of terrorism is still debated among academics. Reaching a scholarly consensus
is difficult considering the breadth of the definitions available. This thesis does not

In English: price in blood. A concept mentioned on the first take of the abbreviated
Truth and Reconciliation (CVR) report (page 7).

Loebenstein 38
attempt to place Sendero Luminoso in any particular definition of terrorism but it does
however intent to explore theories of terrorist motivations in order to understand the
driving forces behind Sendero. The lenses through which terrorism can be viewed are
useful in understanding the Peruvian case. These psychological approaches to
understanding terrorism include hatred and anger, normal psychology, psychology of
cause, psychology of comrades, psychology of crisis, the slippery slope approach, the
staircase approach and many others.

Approaches to Understanding Terrorism

i. Anger
The belief that anger helps us understand terrorist behavior leads to the separation
of anger into two definitions. The first defines anger as the emotional reaction to an insult
or to something, which someone takes offense. The second emerges from animal
experiments where anger and frustration are the emotional reactions to pain (McCauley
16). Terrorists are not necessarily angry about personal frustration but they are also
perhaps irritated by the insults or frustrations the group as a whole has suffered
(McCauley 17). McCauley argues that group identification is the foundation of intergroup conflict, especially for large groups, where free riding probably maximizes selfinterest (17).
This approach to terrorism highlights the fact that many of the members of the
Shining Path were created and recruited from the poorest areas of the country that may
have felt highly discriminated against and insulted by their own government.
Furthermore, the dirty war fought by the government forces, which include the armed

Loebenstein 39
forces, the police and the auto defense committees were responsible for 28.73% of
disappearances and deaths (CVR Fascculo 1, pp3). Thus, these deaths and
disappearances committed by the state against civilians could easily have sparked
motives, stemming from anger, and sympathy towards Senderos cause. Anger in the case
of the Peruvians also plays a role in why people joined even though this cannot solely
explain why all members joined the Shining Path. Anger is only one element to the
explanation of how Sendero provided for the realization of psychological needs
according to Self Determination Theory.

ii. Normal Psychology

In another vision of terrorism, McCauley argues, terrorists emerge out of normal
psychology of emotional commitment to cause and comrades (14). In this view terrorist
ideology combined with small group dynamics and solidarity for comrades allows for
violent action. The trajectory by which normal people become capable of doing terrible
things is gradual. Simplistically, terrorists kill for the same reasons that groups such as
groups have killed other groups for centuries (McCauley 19). The cause worth dying for
combines with a strong ideology and intense group dynamics is what differentiates
terrorists from independence e movements and rebellions for example. The cause that is
worth killing and dying for is a personal one within a world view that makes sense of life
and death, linking the individual in the terrorist group to some form of immortality
(McCauley18-19 in Bongar 2007).
This approach to terrorism is helpful for the Peruvian case in that it embraces the
ideology that Guzmn was able to indoctrinate in Shining Path members and points out

Loebenstein 40
the close relationship to the group that was necessary to reach this. It is also closely
linked with the psychology of comrades approach, which simply clarifies the power of
underground groups. Since underground cells have put the group first in their lives, they
have reduced other human connections, which expands the power of the group in terms
of morals and judgments (McCauley 20). The power of isolating members from a group
is not as powerful since many groups like Sendero separate individuals from the rest of
the group. Furthermore, violence against the enemy becomes a necessity when a group is
isolated. It not only separates them from groups with competing values but it also
justifies the violence for the members (McCauley 20). Not all groups are typically
underground and the Shining Path did not require all members to abandon their families
or communities; on the contrary, they wanted their militants to fit into the rest of society
unnoticed. However, even when underground members are dispersed into society or
another country, there are two arguments for how intense group dynamics are maintained.
The first argues that physical dispersal is not the same as developing connections to a
group outside the terrorist group and the second is that group dynamics can be less
important than the underlying cause or ideologies feeding the group (McCauley 20).
Viewing the Shining Path through the lens of normal psychology allows us to see the
leaderships role in making the rank and file feel like their cause was worth killing and
dying for. Guzmn is central in this discussion as his ideology provides the link which
allows individuals to feel that they are part of a group representing something larder than
themselves (McDermott 143). This process of which normal Peruvians become capable
of killing is inherently tied to how the ideology of Sendero guards their own conceptions

Loebenstein 41
of identity. It is thus that SDT further clarifies how the Shining Path provided for these
peoples psychological needs such as and identity through a shared ideology in this case.

In conclusion, the case of Sendero Luminoso in Peru highlights many of the
aspects presented in the vast amount of psychological and political theories on why
individuals or groups join or choose violence as a means of action. Each theory or
approach presented can clarify aspects of the frame that shapes the motivation of the
various subgroups the Shining Path. The division between the intellectuals and the work
force allows us to concentrate on SDT as a more individualized theory, which
encompasses the possible motivations of the majority, that is to say the bulk of the
Senderistas. This thesis will argue how the Shining Path, as a group provided for these
psychological needs of those who joined. Joining would provide for a better alternative to
daily life.
Now that we have examined theories, it will take careful assessment of the
political and historical process to determine what kinds of people joined the Shining Path
and why. The next chapter will attempt to explain how socio-economic reasons, historical
repression, colonial legacies, and especially lack of state presence are all factors that
made the Andean highland peasants and certain isolated communities susceptible to

A Country Divided: Historys Role in Perus System of Inequalities

Loebenstein 42
This chapter will concentrate on the historical, political and social environment of
Peru. Establishing this foundation, this chapter aims to explain the reasons behind why
certain kinds of people may have been vulnerable and motivated to join the Shining Path.
Socio-economic reasons, historical repression, lack of state presence, and colonial
legacies are all factors that made the Andean highland peasants and certain isolated
communities susceptible to Sendero. Deprivation, the dominant theme in psychology and
terrorism literature is commonly used to explain why people rebel or choose terrorism.
Moghaddam highlights the importance of the perception of a crisis or deprivation while
McClintock talks about subsistence crises leading to revolts. However, as we have
already seen in our closer look at terrorism theory, it is important to note that terrorism is
not solely explained by deprivation. Since deprivation occurs in many countries it is not
enough to conclude that deprivation in rural areas leads to peasant revolts or terrorism.
Both Moghaddam and McClintock emphasized what Peruvian history repeats time after
time. In other words the rural highlands populated by indigenous people have been
marginalized not only culturally and economically but also politically throughout the
history of the republic. When looking at the overall picture of a country it is also
important to analyze its history, legacies and racial or cultural tensions as it clarifies
grievances that people may have or perceive to have.
These conditions of inequality for the highland peasants stem from the colonial
legacies, semi feudal structures and inequalities that this chapter will explore to
contextualize the rise of the Shining Path in specific areas as an alternative to the
previous system of authority found in the highlands. To do this, first a brief review of
colonial history is necessary to understand the legacies of inequality, which provided

Loebenstein 43
space for Sendero to assert a new moral order that would in theory benefit those who
suffered the most.

The colonial legacies of inequality as well as the power of

dictatorships explained in this section will help in the understanding of the discontent of
many Peruvians. This element of discontent will provide for a contextualization as well
as an explanation of how space for Sendero came about. Furthermore, it contextualizes
how rural communities were not protected by the state and therefore needed extra
governmental systems of order and justice, which Sendero provided in many cases.
Moreover, Self Determination Theory here provides a clear framework that explains how
the Shining Path emerged as a means to fulfill the physical and psychological needs of
these communities whose needs were not being addressed.

A History of Conquests and Economic Exploitation

The history of Peru is typical of that of Latin American civilizations conquered by
European colonizers who created vice royalties. Those in these vice royalties who wanted
independence later fought for their freedom from the Spanish. This is important to
understand as it contextualizes the psychical, ethnic, and economic divisions between the
European descendants and the natives. It is precisely the domination of the indigenous
populations that created social, economic, cultural, and racial divisions in Peruvian
society. Peruvian society is characterized by national inequality on the coast, in the
Amazon, in the dessert, and specifically in sierra andina. The theme of domination forms
part of ancient Peruvian history, which is exemplified in the disappearances of the preColumbian (and pre Inca) Chavin culture as well as the Moche, Nazca, Chim, Paracas
and Wari cultures (Figueroa, Barrn 2005).

In the 15th century, the Inca Empire

Loebenstein 44
dominated all the territory from what would now be Ecuador all the way to Chile, an area
called the Tawantinsuyu. The Spanish conquistadors such as Francisco Pizarro, attracted
by the rich Inca Empire, explored the coastal regions. Pizarro arrived in Cajamarca, in the
north of Peru, and captured the Inca leader Atahualpa in 1533 (Prescott 1851). Pizarro
and the Spaniards took advantage of the rivalry between Atahualpa and his brother
Huscar to manipulate the political outcome and gain power. Pizarro captured the old
capital of Cusco and reassigned the capital, forming the city of Lima in 1535 and
eliminating all Inca resistance (Gal 2001). The influence of Spanish colonization is not
only fundamental in understanding the formation of Peru as a nation but also in its social
and political distribution of power planting seeds of ethnic distinctions that still present
Taught in schools, the subjugation of the indigenous and their unsuccessful
attempts of rebellion with leaders such as Manco Inca or Tupac Amaru form Perus
history. Lima became increasingly more important politically, socially and commercially.
Its commercial success was based on the labor exploitation of Indians who made up the
mining and agriculture industries. This exploitation led to a short-lived revolution in 1780
by the Inca Tupac Amaru II (Brading 1991). Colonial society maintained a high level of
segregation with a wide variety of racial and ethnic classifications. Later on in Peruvian
history, the theme of domination continued from the Spanish until 1809 with the war of
independence. Finally, with the help of revolutionaries such as Simon Bolivar and San
Martn, on July 28, 1824 Peru liberated itself from Spain.
With a strong past of domination and wars, Peru also demonstrated a powerful
colonial legacy, which in many regions such as the Andean highlands is considered semi-

Loebenstein 45
feudal by academics. The analysis of socio economic disparities is a starting point in
order to analyze Peruvian history in terms of the Shining Path. These inequalities are
caused by structure imposed by the Spanish and fostered by the authorities in power,
usually the criollos.12 These disparities will be analyzed in the next section in order to
clarify the discontent associated with why some Peruvians joined the Shining Path or
how this discontent motivated some to act.

Inequality in Peru: An Analysis of the Semi Feudal Structure and Colonial Legacies
The Widespread discontent and need for highland peasant to fulfill their
psychological needs characterizes this sector of society. The need to fulfill the
psychological needs of competence, autonomy and relatedness is crucial in understanding
inequality in Peru. Since the circumstances of inequality did not provide these needs,
many highland peasants depending on the community power structure, joined the Shining
Path. Again, it is important to remember that the division between the intellectuals and
the greater mass of the Senderistas in this explanation of inequality shows how the
indigenous, not the mestizo intellectuals suffered because of historys legacies. The
relationship between semi feudal structures and colonial legacies with inequality for the
Andean highland peasants is immense.
As defined by the World Bank, the socioeconomic structure of Peru is one of the
most unequal in Latin America. At the base of Perus history are semi feudal structures
and colonial Spanish legacies that create a vast inequality between the population on the
coast and the more distant population such as the Andean highlands. The socioeconomic

Criollo in colonial times was a person with European decent, born in the Americas
but is now used casually to refer to Peruvians from the coast or Lima.

Loebenstein 46
disparities in Peru come from these old structures and are reinforced through stigmas that
cover ethnicity, language, education, and social class. The semi feudal nature comes from
the legacies of the Spanish colonizers. This semi feudality is expressed in the landlord
system as well as slavery in which capitalism and imperialism is developed (Granados
168). For the PCP-SL, Jos Carlos Maritegui introduced this idea in the 1930s
(Granados 168). The peasantry carried the major weight of slavery especially during the
historic exploitation of natural resources throughout the country. Maritegui highlighted
the importance of the problem of the Indian by considering it a problem with and of the
related to land (Garca 89).
Similarly to this semifeudal structure, a second measure of discontent could also
be attributed to colonial legacies. The historical divisions of Peru in republics (one for
Indians and another for Spaniards) as well as the system of curacas13 and repartimientos14
created social and economic divisions that persisted beyond colonial times (Starn 1995).
The curacas were part of the indigenous nobility that the Spanish designated authority to
where they controlled manual labor for workers especially in agriculture and mining. The
repartimientos served to systematize forced labor where Indians would work an
undetermined amount of years for the Spanish. These historical structures have created
deeply rooted cultural and ethnic divisions. All the colonial economic and social
structures were based on the exploitation of the Indian.
As previously mentioned in the theory discussion, ethnicity and inequality are the
base for grievances that many indigenous people in Peru had. The stigma associated with
the indigenous from the highlands and from the Amazon is coupled with economic

Position of authority over Indians during the colonial period

Colonial Spanish system of forced labor that was later replaced by encomiendas

Loebenstein 47
inequality and lack of opportunity. This relationship between the inequalities associated
with the division of Peru due to colonialism and the view of education as a means to
escape these legacies is strong in Peru. Political movements in the 1980s created a
movement inspired first of all in education since populations wanted to recover free
education that had been eliminated during Velascos government. They wanted a kind of
democracy against the mistis15 and the local leaders to find a kind of justice and their
place in the national society (Degregori 2010). For the indigenous peasantry, education
served as a way out of these colonial legacies. In terms of political opportunity, the
Shining Path used el problema del indio and all the associated stigmas as the base of their
political arguments to mobilize the highland population.
However, it is critical to discuss why some peasants sought the Shining Path to
fulfill their psychological needs and why others chose to join rondas campesinas or
simply rejected the Shining Path altogether. Miguel la Serna, explains the relationship
between the villages and the Peruvian States judicial system and how the power pacts of
two small Andean villages. From his fieldwork he concludes that historically rooted and
local specific power relations as well as social conflict and cultural norms play an
important role in understanding the responses of the indigenous peasants toward the
Shining Path. La Serna shows how in Chuschi, the power pact between the villagers and
authority was broken, as they could not rely on the judicial system to provide any kind of
justice. In such an environment, Sendero was able to thrive and fulfill psychological
needs. On the other hand in Huaychao, the village actively opposed the Shining Path due
to the fact that peasants in this village believed that their customary authority and justice
system had successfully preserved the historically and culturally established power pacts,


Loebenstein 48
values and codes of conduct through the powers given to the varayoqs. This system
originated in Colonial times and persisted through the republic. The Shining Path
threatened to replace what peasants viewed as an effective and just correctional system
and eventually led to these villagers creating a strong counter insurgency movement (17).

Military Governments and Dictatorships

Just as in the last section, the ties between historical semi feudal structural
inequalities, colonial legacies and effectiveness or ineffectiveness of the power pacts
between the colonial authorities and rural villagers, this chapter also analyzes role power
plays in Perus history. If we analyze the violent history of the conquest of the country, its
primary wars and its inequality, it is also necessary to include the dichotomy between
democracy and military coups. Most Peruvians see dictators and military coups as clear
examples of the corrupt government structure. The history of militarisms in Peru only
contributed further to this view. Subverting democracy these kinds of regimes destroyed
the possibilities for democracy in Peru. Thus, it is not surprise a group such as the
Shining Path used examples of corrupt leaders to propagate a need for a new order,
especially a moral one.
An analysis of the dictatorships allows for further exploration of the inequalities
faced by the highland communities within an already very stratified and unequal country.
Peru has had not only dictators such as Riva-Agero and Bolvar but also Legua,
Snchez-Cerro, Benavides, Odra, Velasco and Fujimori. These dictatorships have been
impediments to the tradition of political parties (Morote 2001). Political parties are weak
in Peru, partially due to their lack of tradition. The violent history between dictatorships

Loebenstein 49
and democracy forms part of what many Peruvians resent and the theme that political
parties or revolutionary groups such as the Shining Path cite in order to gain more
support. In his 2001 article, Herbert Morote demonstrates that half of the twenty-two
democratic governments in Peru in its one hundred and eighty years of independence
have been deposed by military coups.16 The average age of democratic governments is
three to seven months (Morote 2001). He further argues that since 1904 there have not
been more than two democratic governments that have completed their legal mandate
(Morote 2001).
The militarisms constitute part of what the Peruvian population has suffered but it
has much more to do with the political factions that emerged in the 1980s allowing space
for groups such as the PCP-SL. The left and mostly communist groups emerged with the
resentment of dictatorships and began to win support with radical proposals that appealed
to many citizens, especially those marginalized by previous governments. The
marginalization are directly related to agriculture and affect the highlands most of all.
Between 1968 and 1980, the military regimes first under General Velasco (1968-1975)
and then under Genreal Morales Bermdez (1975-1980) set agricultural policies
(McClintock 64). These were advantageous for the peasants of the coast but not of the
highlands. Furthermore during Fernando Belande Terrys government in 1980
agricultural policies such as land tenure and terms of trade turned against peasants all
together (McClintock 64). More importantly, it is critical to note that no government in
the history of Peru has ever allocated substantial public investment to the projects

Examples include Agusto Bernardino Leguas oncenio in reference to his

eleven years (1919-1930) of power, Luis Miguel Snchez Cerro (1931-1933), Manuel A.
Odra (1948-1956), Juan Velasco Alvarado (1968-1975), Francisco Morales Bermdez
(1975-1980) and finally Alberto Fujimoris auto-coup (1992-2000) (Morote 2001).

Loebenstein 50
favored by agronomists for the southern highlands (McClintock 64). These kinds of
inequalities propagated by the corrupt governments only added to the appeal of the
leftists groups, usually headed by intellectuals or students during the 1970s. The rise of
these groups and especially communism are essential to understanding the origins and the
formation of the Shining Path within the historical, cultural and ethnic and political
environment of Peru.

Universities: Birthplace of the Peruvian Left and the PCP

This section will explore the rise of these groups in terms of the communist
influence in Peru and especially its role in the University system exploited by the Shining
Path. Throughout the 20th century, Peru has had a variety of declared leftist groups the
largest being the Communist Party of Peru (PCP) or Partido Comunista Peruano in
Spanish. In this time period the leftists groups used the PCP symbol to mean Partido
Comunista Peruano and each group added additional letters to distinguish themselves
ideologically from one another. The first of these groups was the Socialist Party of Peru,
which would later be renamed Partido Comunista Peruano, founded by Jos Carlos
Maritegui, one of the most influential Peruvian intellectuals of the 20 th century. The PCP
remained secondary in Peruvian Politics until the 1960s with the ideological dispute
between the Chinese and the Soviet Union that led to the fragmentation of communism.
In Peru this global division of communism had serious consequences. The multiple
factions of communism in Peru are critical to understanding the formation of PCP-SL.
In the first place, it is necessary to contextualize communism in the international
and Latin American spectrum. The polarized world during the cold war years had three

Loebenstein 51
main groups, which included those in favor of the United States, those in favor of the
Soviet Union, and those without alliances. Countries without alliances were called group
77 whose protective leader was China. Here is it important to reemphasize the 1964 split
between the Soviet Union and China. The Peruvian Communist Party split in 1964 into
pro Soviet and pro Chinese parties, the Peruvian Communist Party Unidad (PCP-U) and
the Peruvian Communist Party Bandera Roja (PCP-BR). The majority of national
leadership and finances went with Unidad while students joined Bandera Roja. The
working class and unions dominated the Soviet party while the peasantry, students and
Maoists characterized the PCP-BR. PCP-BR shaped its Maoist inspired ideology and
concentrated its grievances on the semi feudal and semi colonial nature of Peruvian
society. With this they championed a peoples war which would move from the
countryside to the city (Poole 31). A splinter group then formed from PCP-BR into
Patria Roja or PCP-PR. In the moment of the 1964 split, Abimael Guzmn Reynoso
aligned himself with Paredes and the PCP-BR. It is important to look at Guzmn and
Paredes profiles. Both were lawyers but Paredes was known more as a union advisor
while Guzmn was viewed more as a philosopher. On the one hand Paredes focused on
the construction of farmers associations while Guzmn worried about the political
ideology and future of the party (CVR). Guzmn follows Paredes even though he had
already formed his own red faction in Ayacucho (CVR). Three years later in 1970
Guzmn led his own splinter group out of the PCP-BR to form the PCP-SL Sendero
Luminoso (Poole 31). The Shining Path was named after Mariteguis slogan locared in
front of the University in Huamanga por el sendero luminoso de Maritegui (CVR).

Loebenstein 52
When Guzmn broke from Paredes, the Shining Path consisted of twelve militants
(CVR tomo II). They first had the support of the Student Federation from the Universidad
of Huamanga in Ayacucho where Guzmn taught philosophy. With a foothold on the
University administration, the Shining Path was able to spread through the 1970s as a
radical leftist party fighting for the reconstruction of the communist party and the
beginning of the armed struggle. It is precisely the radical ideology that Abimael Guzmn
proposed that leads to the creation of a doctrine that would be propagated from the
University to initiate the terrorist practices of this organization. In order to understand
how the Shining Paths ideology and group as a whole may have been preferred over the
system of authority and government already established, one has to look at the groups
goals and ideologies.

Ideology, Terrorism and the Armed Conflict

The internal armed conflict (1980 to 2000) has been the longest conflict with the most
impact on the country. Furthermore, it has had the highest human and economic costs in
the history of the republic (CVR 2003 1.1.1. 13). The number of deaths even surpasses
those of the war of independence and the war with Chile. 17 The Peruvian Truth and
Reconciliation Committee (CVR) estimate the number of total deaths at 69,280. The
immediate and fundamental cause of this internal conflict was the Shining Paths decision
to initiate a popular war against the Peruvian state. Abimael Guzmn formed his base in
the province of Ayacucho and the groups ideology was facilitated by the social,
economic and political conditions. The ideologys success and expansion was achieved

Known as the War of the Pacific (1879-73). Chile fought against Peru and Bolivia in
order to obtain territory rich with natural resources. This war ended with a Chilean
victory and the loss of territory for Peru in the north: the desert of Atacama.

Loebenstein 53
through education, specifically through the University of San Cristbal de Huamanga in
Ayacucho where Guzmn taught philosophy. The ideology begins with a communist
utopia. The Shining Path defined communism as the
grand harmony of the society, a radical and definitive new society whose
15 billion years of history in motion, form part of what we know as the
eternal history, it is necessaryunique and non substitutable in the new
society, without dominated people nor dominators, without oppressed
people or oppressors, without social classes, without a state, without
parties, without democracy, without weapons, without wars (Degregori
2010, 28).
Thus the ideology of Pensamiento Gonzalo18 (PG) emerges as the line of thought that
would indicate the Shining Paths direction. Guzmn followed a vertical style,
characterized by his extreme authoritative personality marked by extreme autocracy as
he deemed PG a guide (Garca 16). In other words, Guzmn considered himself superior
to Stalin, placing himself on the same level as Marx, Lenin, and Mao. He consequently
names himself the quarta espada or fourth sword as he would substitute Stalin and form
part of the intellectual circle of the other three Great Men. In Guzmns interview with
the leftist newspaper El Diario, he expressed that his major contribution was adapting
Marxism to the Peruvian reality (Starn 412).
Furthermore, Guzmn adopts something like a Kamikaze suicide mentality, which
would be applied to the ideological concept of cuota de sangre. This concept comes from
the idea that it is necessary to pay a share of deaths for the revolution. One of the
Senderista19 slogans read, blood will not drown the revolution (Starn 409). These kinds
of slogans solidified the insignificance of human life where the terrorists that formed the
Shining Path became more and more willing to kill and die for their cause. Guzmn used

PG is a combination of a scientific conception; Marxism with a scientific process; the

armed struggle (Garca 73).
Word used to denominate participants of PCP-SL

Loebenstein 54
this strategy in order to accomplish his goal of making the bourgeoisie as the enemy and
later applying the same idea against the authorities that represent the government.
It is also necessary to analyze Mao Zedongs influence in the Shining Paths
ideology and strategy. Even though Guzmn had declared himself Maoist and his actions
where inspired around this, the result was different since he only applied what he deemed
important for Peruvian society. As Antonio Vidal indicates in La verdad sobre Sendero
Luminoso, there are some differences between Maos ideology and Guzmns but we
cannot deny the clear inspirations on Guzmn. Guzmn declares that his thought, or the
PG is an adaptation of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism to the Peruvian revolution.20 The
initial acts of the Shining Path focused on symbolic acts that would publicize their goals
and make their objectives clear. They were simple actions with no casualties such as an
attack on the International Hotel in Ayacucho where windows were stoned. Included in
these initial acts was the allegorical and yet literal hanging of dogs in Cuschi with signs
that criticized the Chinese bourgeoisie, which read Deng Xiaoping sons of bitches. This
kind of message clearly represents the link between the founders of the Shining Path and
the political ideology of Mao. This idea helps in the understanding of vast the impact
Maoism really was on Guzmn and to what extent he applied it to the Peruvian reality.
This kind of spectacle in the Andean highlands demonstrates the importance of the
ideology of the Cultural Revolution Chinese on initial militants of the PCP-SL. Guzmn,
inspired by Maos millenarian war and revolution accentuated the idea of cuota de sangre
and encouraged violence and destruction to create his Andean utopian society.
The first theme of Guzmns thought emphasizes class struggle. Guzmn explains
this hyper-classism as the trajectory of modernity (Starn 407). The Truth and

El Diario 24 de Julio 1988: La Entrevista del Siglo:Habla el Presidente Gonzalo

Loebenstein 55
Reconciliation Committee states that this class struggle forms part of the necessity of
cultural revolutions. Mao had denominated his revolution as the grand Cultural
Revolution of the proletariat in 1966 whose goal was to prevent the restructuring of
imperialism. Convincing the younger generations of the Andean Highlands using red
books, Guzmn starts just as Mao did, with a war against the bourgeoisies, the enemy of
the rural peasant class. One of the PCP-SL poems describes the peasant as the following:
Campesino hermano, as es nuestro jefe.
l abarca, de una mirada, el mundo entero!
avizora el futuro como ninguno
y tambin se preocupa de los pueblitos.
Por los humildes eleva su puo,
traspasa los tiempos como flecha,
maneja el ahora, asegura el maana (Granados 124).21
It is no coincidence that a majority of the victims in the internal conflict were from the
poorest areas of the country or that mentality of terror adopted became an instrument for
political means.
The necessity to combat imperialism represents the second theme in the
Senderista ideology. The APRA22 political party had already presented anti imperialist
and pan-latino ideas with the ideology of its founder Vctor Ral Haya de La Torre (Starn
1995). Abimael Guzmn followed the ideology of Jos Carlos Maritegui who denounced
the United States as the principle agent of imperialism in Peru (Starn 1995). This theme
to fight against those who not only symbolize the cause of socio economic disparity in
Peru but those who have benefited from the inequality is a clear factor for discontent.
Sendero stood to denounce yankee imperialists. This ideology itself is important to
mention as it helps us understand how Guzmn used the already established knowledge

I did not translate this into English for poetic and artistic reasons.
Many times called Aprista. APRA stands for Alianza Popular Revolucionaria
Americana founded by Victor Haya Ral de La Torre in 1924.

Loebenstein 56
of these unequal conditions to frame an ideology that would be sympathetic to the
majority of the indigenous in this country.
The third theme in the popular is the struggle of the masses. Situating the masses
in what Guzmn called a revolution, he declared the peasantry the biggest part of our
struggle (Starn 408). Here Guzmn and the Shining Path are providing the peasants a
sense of competence and power which forms one of the needs described in Self
Determination theory. Finally, the fourth theme represents the violence directly related to
the previous three themes. Guzmn cites Mao when he argues, violence is a universal
lawand without revolutionary violence one class cannot be substituted by another, and
the order will not be defeated by creating a new one (Starn 409). Guzmn learned
increasingly more about Maoism from his multiple trips to China during the Chinese
revolution. The CVR cites Guzmn speaking about Maos cultural revolution as the
greatest political fact that humanity has witnessed.23 Violence in some ways then turns
into a path of redemption. 24
To conclude the themes of Guzmns ideologies, we can summarize that Maos
thought clearly influenced the PCP-SL. From class struggle and the idea of cleansing
through revolutionary violence, all were topics present in Maos thought (Starn 1995).
Some of Guzmns inner circle even used traditional Chinese clothing and even
memorized the national hymns sung for Mao (Starn 1995). Through the political and
ideological orientation of communism and Maoism, the Shining Path was able to justify
and promote its own cultural revolution in Peru.


Seccin segunda: Los actores del conflicto
Idea from Starns article (pp. 409 ) to talk about the relationship between the church and

Loebenstein 57
The beginning of the Shining Paths strategy, as previously mentioned, is
fundamentally linked to education through the University of San Cristbal de Huamanga
which began to win over the population after weakening the stability and national
security of Peru. In order to win over the students, Guzmn recruited the most talented
students for extension education programs for literacy, agriculture, health and nutrition in
the Ayacucho countryside (Palmer 1986). These individuals such as Luis Kawata
Makabe, Osman Morote, and Julio Casanova turned into the principle members of the
Shining path hierarchy (Palmer 1986). Guzmn recruited educated mestizos and Indian
peasants but also emphasized the study of the language spoken by most of the highlands,
Quechua (Mealy e Austad 2010). Guzmn would send the leaders of the Shining Path to
the poorest areas of Ayacucho with the objective of fostering a relationship and to learn
the culture in order to more effectively recruit. The militants that spoke Quechua were
one of Guzmns strongest weapons for recruitment and since Guzmn spoke very little
Quechua he placed them on the principle Shining Path missions (Mealy e Austad 2010).
Furthermore, Guzmns wife, Agusta de la Torre was part of the strategy focused on
recruiting women, something not commonly done by other parties. The specifics of
recruitment will be analyzed in further detail in the following chapter.

The Shining Path Strategy and The Armed Conflict

The strategy employed by the PCP-SL is useful in understanding their main
objectives but also how they carried out their terrorist actions. In order to overthrow the

Loebenstein 58
current system, which stemmed from the historical and ethnic inequalities that divided
Peru, the Shining Path sought the total destruction of all established order to create a
Utopian Peru. The Shining Paths strategy can be organized in five categories; (i)
propaganda and agitation, (ii) sabotage against the socio economic system, (iii) guerilla
warfare, (IV), the conquest and expansion of the bases de apoyo25 and (v) the capture of
the cities in order to fully destroy the Peruvian state (Starn 1995). The start of the
campaign began officially with the symbolic burnings of ballot boxes in Cuschi, in
Ayacucho. After this, SL committed more than 3,000 acts, many of which were small but
other involved over 150 militants with synchronized operations such as the attack of the
jail in Ayacucho in 1982, and the bombings of light towers in Lima (Starn 1995). The
strategy and violent action of the PCP-SL lead the government to view and treat the
Shining Path as a terrorist group. It begins to be known more as the Shining Path rather
than the PCP-SL, since its focus was more associated with terrorism rather than politics.
A strategic campaign began with the distribution of papers and leaflets and the
occupation of radio stations, which pronounced the importance of the armed struggle and
forced propaganda transmissions, the occupation of schools and even speeches at funerals
such as the 1982 Edith Lagos funeral (Starn 1995). Lagos was a member of the Shining
Path and was killed by the Peruvian authorities at the age of nineteen. Her funeral and
procession attracted more than 30,000 people (Strong 174). In 1982, SL transmitted a
message through the radio station La Voz, in Quechua and Spanish as a response to the
arrival of the Peruvian army in the highlands (Starn 1995). The message explained that
SL was not afraid of fighting the army, that they would spill the blood of soldiers and

The CVR highlights that the objective of the total and radical destruction of local
power and construct bases of support

Loebenstein 59
that the struggle of the guerilla would triumph since they had nothing to loose, only their
chains of oppression (Taylor 26).
As well as propaganda, agitation also formed part of this strategy. In 1983 they
organized a strike, which was successful in recruiting support and expanding fear. They
would detonate bombs to threaten stores to stay closed and to create and environment
dominated by Sendero. Sabotage against the socioeconomic system is linked to the idea
of dependence that SL tried to destroy. In numerous occasions, electric towers and
installations were bombed. Between July 1980 and December 1981, fourteen high
voltage towers were bombed which caused serious problems with equipment and
communication (Starn 1995). Elite schools, as well as stores associated with international
capitalism such as Sears were attacked. In Lambayeque sugar plantations were burned
while in Cajamarca Nestle who provided milk was also attacked.
The third strategy was the development of rural guerilla warfare, which began in
1981 and eventually became an urban phenomenon. The goal of undermining the semi
feudal foundations of the state would be completed by the assassination of gamonales26 in
the highlands (Taylor 1983). SL assassinated a total of sixteen gamonales, informants and
government representatives between July and September 1982 (Taylor 1983). The famous
attack of the farm fundo Matar located 93 km from the city of Ayacucho is
representative of this strategy. A report describes how 150 guerillas entered the farm,
killed the owners, and bombed the house and cars (Taylor 1983).

According to the Encyclopedia Britanica gamonalismo means bossism and is used in

Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia. It is derived from gamonal, a word meaning a large land
owner and it refers to the exploitation of the Indian population, mainly by landowners of
European descent. In the 1920s Maritegui attacked gamonalismo as the worst abuse in
the Peruvian political system; in so doing he influenced many of his contemporaries to
espouse Socialism.

Loebenstein 60
The fourth step in the strategy was the conquest and expansion of the bases de
apoio. The Shining Path members used dynamite to bomb public buildings, to kill
government officials, and to threaten the lives of government representatives or figures of
authority. The sub prefect of Ayacucho, for example was shot and killed (Taylor 1983).
The threat and terrorism tactic incited such widespread fear in 1982 that many
government officials renounced their positions in regions such as the provinces of
Ayacucho, Apurimac and Huancavelica (Taylor 1983). The Shining Path occupied the
town of Huanta (population of 80,000) for twenty-four hours and attacked the police
station. The success of SL in attacking the police was so successful that the abandonment
of officers facilitated that SL gain control of vast areas of Ayacucho (Taylor 1983).
The fifth and last strategy was to transfer the armed struggle to the city, in other
words: to Lima. In July of 1982 the prison Cerro de Pasco was attacked and thirteen
prisoners were freed. The prisoners had been accused by the anti-terrorism law that had
been introduced in March of 1981 (Taylor 1983). In attacking the capital SL focused on
apagones or blackouts through the bombings of electric towers as well as regular
bombings throughout the city.
In sum, the conflict developed through a strategy that incorporated consistent
terror as an instrument for ideological objectives that sought to destroy the established
system. Guzmns ideological inspirations in combination with the bases de apoyo led
him to go from being ignored by the government, to being Perus most wanted terrorist.
SL terrorism comes to be highly dangerous for the states economic stability and more
importantly national security. With the expansion of violence, the state sought any and all
responses appropriate in order to eliminate the Shining Path.

Loebenstein 61

Military Response to social problems: Terror on Terror

Confronted with the war initiated by Sendero Luminoso and other radical leftist groups
such as the MRTA,27 the Peruvian state had the right and obligation to defend and restore
order as well as national security. The military response to a social and historical dilemma
was problematic in that it contributed to the negative sentiments against the state and in
some cases the desire of vengeance, especially those of ethnic background similar (ie
criollo soldiers) to those who have perpetrated against them. The violent means officially
adopted by the state increased ethnic tensions between rural areas and the elite in power.
It is in this light that the states response can be analyzed in several stages as well as
through the various strategies each president implemented to solve the problem of
terrorism. Government action was slow and inefficient in many aspects especially in light
of the fact that SL was ignored in its initial and most fragile stages. Only when SL
became an enormous threat did the government send the armed forces. They government
did not seem to want to understand the problems that were causing the terrorism nor did
they seem to want to address the underlying reasons behind it. The response was solely
military, which would neither eliminate terrorism nor prevent resurgence. Furthermore,
the forces sent by the government were not adequately prepared as they were ironically
the police from the coast as well as the Marines, who did not speak Quechua. They also
knew little to nothing about the highlands or its culture.


In Spanish El Movimento Revolucionrio Tupac Amaru (MRTA) or Tupac Amarus

Revolutionary Movement enters the armed struggle in 1984. It sought to differentiate
itself from PCP-SL through its traditional Latin American guerilla (they used uniforms).
Their strategy was to combine armed urban agitation and military struggle in the
countryside (CVR).

Loebenstein 62
The governments inefficiency was characterized by multiple factors, although it
is essential to highlight that each president treated the SL problem differently. President
Fernando Belande Terry (1980-1985), had just emerged out of a military dictatorship
and did not want to seem too repressive. Thus, he neglected to act against the Shining
Path in its initial and weak stages where they could have been easily crushed and
completely eliminated. This attitude contrasts with Alan Garcas first government (19851990) as well as with Alberto Fujimoris (1990-2000).
Moreover, poorly trained armed forces, lack of equipment especially in
intelligence, the rivalry between the army and the Guardia Civil, and the low salaries all
contributed to the governments inefficient response to the terrorism (Taylor 1983). In
1985 Garcas government began creating organizations against SL such as a special
operation unit called la direcin de operaciones especiales (DOES) and a unit for
preventative intelligence called la direcin de inteligencia del ministrio del interior
(DIGIMIN) (CVR). The other institution created was la direcin contra el terrorismo
(DIRCOTE) (CVR). During both Garca and Fujimoris governments, the state also
organized rondas campesinas or peasantry organized groups which recruited locals who
were against SL, armed them and used them as principle combatants since they spoke the
language and knew the land. Fujimori is also famous for his paramilitary death squad
known as Grupo Colina, which was responsible for the massacres at Barrios Altos, La
Cantuta and Santa. Fujimori and the head of the National Intelligence Service of Peru
Vladimiro Montesinos were responsible for a plethora of human rights violations. They
were later charged, tired, and imprisoned for these violations some of which were
recorded on tape by Montesinos himself.

Loebenstein 63
The Peruvian states complicated response resulted in grave consequences for human
rights and national security. The ex-Minister of War, General Luis Cisneros in 1983
describes the governments response as the following:
the police force do not know who the senderistas are, nor how many there are,
nor when they are going to attack. For the police force to have any success
they would have to begin to kill senderistas and non-senderistas, because this
is the only way they could ensure success. They kill sixty people and at most
there are three senderistas among them ... and for sure the police will say that
the sixty were senderistas (Taylor 1983, pp. 43).
Later on, Cisneros reiterated the point more graphically, when he declared that: If to kill
two or three senderistas it is necessary to kill 80 innocents, then it does not matter... The
peasants have to decide where they wish to die: with Sendero or the armed forces
(Taylor 1983, pp. 43). This was exactly the violent strategy imposed by the armed forces
on the highland population. The Peruvian CVR confirmed that the methods employed by
the armed forces were detention, torture, assassinations, and arbitrary executions. In June
of 1991, a military document was discovered that determined that the armed forces
operated with a point and shoot mentality (Taylor 1998). This facilitated the countrys
loss of respect for the government. Polls often showed widespread disapproval of many
of the governments policies, especially of the military, human rights and constitutional or
legal issues (Conaghan 5).
Even though the Shining Path was considered a terrorist group by Peru, the
United States and many other countries, the response of the armed forces was equally or
perhaps even worse than the acts committed by the terrorists. The level of human rights
violations carried out by the government had no legal justification. The states actions
during this internal conflict have been considered by many academics as state terrorism.
Terror used to fight terror is exemplified in the murders, tortures, rapes and other methods

Loebenstein 64
used by the armed forces. These methods actually delegitimized the states authority and
created an even more complex situation in an already historically, socially and ethnically
divided country. Perus internal war with Senderos terrorism and the violent state
response was a difficult time for many Peruvians. SL was a group whose actions had
major impact on the countries recent history of human rights violation by its own
government. The government that finally captured Guzmn was Fujimori who took all
credit and added to his reputation. Fujimori is popularly recognized as the man who
eradicated terrorism.
In sum, the Shining Paths revolution used violence as the principle instrument in
order to obtain the total insecurity of the country. This struggle turned into a war of
vengeance and counter vengeance until the capture of Guzmn in 1992. The development
of this group can be considered terrorism as well as revolutionary but it had more to do
with the larger state of Peru characterized by education, social and economic inequality.
Terrorism in Peru from 1980 to 1992 shows Peru in its most violent and insecure time in

In looking at the colonial legacies, semi feudal structures, inequalities, and the
Shining Paths terror it is not difficult to conclude Peru was divided during the internal
conflict. The next chapter, through case studies, concentrates on the variety of people
who joined the Shining path and why. The exclusively military government response to a
socially and economically fragmented country failed to address the underlying issues
causing the terrorism and more importantly why people continued to join. By employing

Loebenstein 65
military violence onto populations that already suffered the most only created more
divisions within the country, adding to the distrust of the government who was
supposedly there to protect them. For citizens the line between good and evil was blurred
in the sense that they didnt know who was worse, the government or the terrorists.
Moreover, the Peruvian government and many Latin American governments should be
aware of the fact that solely military responses to social issues will not eradicate the kinds
of ideas perpetuated by Abimael Guzmn and the Shining Path nor will they eliminate
terrorists. The Peruvian government was not, and is still currently not representative.
Until these social realities are understood and addressed, political and institutional change
will take longer and cost more than sending the armed forces to clean up.
Finally the inequalities explained in this chapter help us understand how
discontent, deprivation, and grievances motivated Peruvians to join the Shining Path.
Sendero provided a way to fulfill unsatisfied needs for the communities that did not have
communal power structures that maintained stability that the state failed to achieve in
rural areas. Guzmns ideology and strategy drew on the feelings of discontent as well as
a multitude of grievances that both stemmed from Perus inequalities. He constructed the
Sendero machine to fight what the majority of indigenous deemed to be Perus injustices.
In terms of the typology that separates the intellectuals from the majority of indigenous,
the intellectuals were targeted more in terms of ideology while the work force of Sendero
by common grievances. It is thus that the lack of physical and psychological needs in
SDT, as seen in the Peruvian case stem from the inequalities described, the colonial
legacies, the economic exploitation and the ineffective state responses.

Loebenstein 66
Actors and Motivations
This section deals specifically with identifying a profile or series of observations of the
various people who became senderistas as well as their array of motivations. An analysis
of a variety of sources including Perus Truth and Reconciliation Committee documents
as well as selections of Peruvian citizens testimonies, led me to understand the peoples
that joined the Shining Path and why. The testimonies provide a closer look and perhaps a
reconstruction of fragments of the militants and leaders biographies which may trace to
they way they got involved with PCP-SL, why the ideology appealed to them and the
kinds of relationships or positions they sought while participating in the organization. The
case studies are critical in understanding the profile of women, children, students,
peasants, Indians and a variety of Peruvians who decided to join the struggle that started
in the countryside and slowly encircled the Peruvian government as they moved to the
The limitations in these case studies are that the Truth and Reconciliation
Committee did not make the actual terrorists testimonies available, since they do not
contribute to the idea of Reconciliation. In other words documenting the storys of
terrorists does not settle or resolve the horrors of the internal conflict. It does not bring
justice to the victims nor does it lead to any kind of reparation or legal action since the
terrorists are already jailed. Even though they are not readily available as its own section
of the CVR report, there are of course fragments of full testimonies within the final report
as well as in other literature, documentaries and interviews. Overall it seems that the lack
of terrorism testimonies could be attributed to a variety of factors such as lack of elite or
government interest, the fact that it does not contribute to reconciliation and perhaps has

Loebenstein 67
no place with victim testimonies and finally because perhaps by not telling their stories
the government aimed to dehumanize the terrorists.
In contrast to the vast victim and state agent testimonies of the CVR, the voices of
the actual terrorists are in some ways silenced and only visible to those who search for
them. These are the testimonies available for our analysis. As the government portrayed
and continues to portray Shinning Path members as a bunch of vicious terrorists, they
have remained behind a curtain of secrecy (The People of the Shining Path, 1992).
Journalists in interviews with Senderistas, such as in the 1992 BBC sponsored Dispatches
Television documentary The People of the Shining Path attempt to illustrate their
humanity and to rebuttal their image as maniacs. Although they occasionally demonstrate
a cult devotion to Guzmn, they are guided by the principles and desire to change their
socio economic conditions and overthrow the system, which they believe is the cause of
their suffering (Palmer). Perhaps the depiction by the government of members as vicious,
ignorant machines may hint to why, even with the compilation of testimonies, the voice
of the Senderistas themselves is not heard as loudly as those who they affected.
The idea that the voices of terrorists are silenced by the Peruvian state is directly
related to the discourse the government propagated with the intension of discouraging
and or eliminating terrorism. Again, the failure to address social problems led to an
exclusively military response, which attempted to justify its own violent and inhumane
excesses. In her book El factor asco: basurizacin simblica y discursos autoritarios en
el Per contemporneo, Roco Silva Santisteban addresses this idea of silencing through
a term she coins as basurizacin simblica.28 She explains the ways in which humans
keep others in a plane that is radically different, an unheard of plain. In terms of silencing

The symbolic process of trashing or degradation

Loebenstein 68
this time of Peruvian history she connects authoritarian discourse propagated by the state
with their practices of sexism, racism, exclusion, discrimination and imposition of
different forms of violence such as tortures and sexual violations (93). Sanitesteban
accurately portrays the ways in which through the discourse of national security, racism,
sexual violations, tortures and other forms of violence were employed in the name of
Perus collective good. Overall, the possibilities as to why there is a lack of terrorists
testimonies leads this chapter in the direction of understand the main base of Senderistas
as well as the literature that divides the intellectuals from the main Andean base.

Senderos Main Base and the Role of the Efficiency of Communal Power Pacts
In academia when it comes to explaining the main base of the Shining Path the
two prevalent views are: one which sees the PCP-SL as a liberation movement with an
important and an easily manipulated Andean base and a second which sees them as a
confluence of an intellectual elite emphasizing its student base (Portugal 12). The Andean
base argument, previously addressed in chapter two, follows the logic of relative
deprivation, societal stigmas on the Indian and socio economic inequality as well as
presence of the state contributed to why the rural populations were susceptible to
Senderos ideology.
However, this chapter will highlight the added complexity that Miguel La Sernas
approach provides in the deeper understanding of peasant manipulation. Through an
analysis of power pacts between the Peruvian states judicial system and Andean peasant
in two villages he concludes that historically rooted and local specific power relations,
social conflict and cultural norms of understanding directly related to the responses of the

Loebenstein 69
indigenous peasants toward the Shining path insurgency. This allows us to distinguish
between rural Andean peasant communities that joined Sendero versus other rural
communities who actively resisted them. La Serna shows how in Chuschi, the power pact
between the villagers and authority was broken, as they could not rely on the judicial
system to provide any kind of justice. The overall barriers of time, money, and language
made it difficult for the Chuschi villagers to gain anything from denouncing thefts or
other infractions. In such an environment, Sendero was able to thrive and fulfill
psychological needs. He also concludes that the village of Huaychao actively opposed the
Shining Path due to the fact that peasants in this village believed that their customary
authority and justice system had successfully preserved the historically and culturally
established power pacts, values and codes of conduct through the powers given to the
varayoqs. The varayoqs were able to retain historically established power by through the
respect they already had of villagers and the ways in which they contributed to the
preservation of values considered essential by the people such as order, justice,
matrimonial fidelity and more. In this kind of environment, The Shining Path threatened
to replace what peasants viewed as an effective and just correctional system and
eventually led to these villagers creating a strong counter insurgency movement.
On the other hand, the student base view argues that frustrations among the
middle class in the 1970s provided Sendero with the bulk of recruits from university
students, professors and the administrative staff from Ayacucho and its provinces. This
view is further explained by the failure of education to bring social mobility for many.
Many students came from poor peasant families with the hope that once graduated they
could move beyond the social and economic status of their parents (Palmer 51). However,

Loebenstein 70
they were finding that the only jobs available to them were badly paid teaching positions
and many times they ended up in the same village they came from. Thus, they were
returning to the same poverty they hoped to escape by means of their university
education (Palmer 51).
In this chapter I will argue for the idea that the majority of Senderistas are from
the peasant base even though data from Andrea Portugals article Voices from the War:
Exploring the Motivation of Sendero Luminoso Militants contends otherwise. To make
my point, even Portugal argues that her own data may be problematic in the light that
most Sendero members, sympathizers and militants were probably killed in combat or
disappeared in the initial years of the conflict. This possibly reduces the pool of militant
testimonies (Portugal 14). However, I do make a distinction between the power dynamics
of authority in Andean villages based on La Sernas research, which contributes to
understanding why not all Andean peasants joined the Shining Path. Furthermore, the
fact that according to the CVR 47% of the victims in the armed conflict were murdered or
disappeared in Ayacucho also adds to the explanation of this problem. Of the diverse
range of militant profiles described in academia this chapter explores the difference
between Senderos leaders such as Guzmn and his central Committee versus its rank and
file. The larger rank and file is composed of the rural peasants, students, inmates, women,
children, Amazonian indigenas groups and domestic workers.

The following section explains Senderos leadership, the central committee,
Andean peasants, students, women, children, and the Ashnika indians in order to

Loebenstein 71
understand Senderos actors. When looking at these actors, I utilized Andrea Portugals
comprehensive study of 700 testimonies of prisoners identified as members of the
Shining Path. She concludes that a Young catholic male with a good educational level, a
student, peasant or merchant, predominately Spanish speaking and who lived in the city
is a representative profile of the SL militant. However after presenting her data she does
admit that this characterization does not necessarily reflect the actual profile of the
militant of the PCP-SL, since a large number of the party members, in particular Quechua
speaking indigenous peasants died or disappeared during the armed conflict (Portugal
27). Thus the available Senderista testimonies we have now may not be representative of
what the Shining Path was at its height, since those militants are deceased. Portugals
article and testimonies serve as a base for this chapter.

i .The Leadership of Abimael Guzmn and his Foothold on the UNSCH

Before trying to sketch the profile of the senderista militant, one must consider
leadership from the head of the organization and also of the Central Committee. With a
charismatic personality, education and rhetoric the party founder and top leader Abimael
Guzmn gained the nickname shampoo for the fact that he was said to have the ability
to brain wash (State of Fear). Obtaining degrees in Law and Philosophy he then arrived
at the Universidad Nacional San Cristbal de Huamanga (UNSCH) in 1962 and by 1964
he had been appointed Director of General Studies (Roncagliolo). He also became one of
the main promoters of the Frente Estudiantil Revolucionario (FER) and the Peruvian
Communist Party in the UNSCH as well as in Ayacucho (Roncagliolo). Furthermore, he
gained influence in the Faculty of education (Portugal 16). In 1971, Guzmn was named

Loebenstein 72
personnel director which enabled him to hire and appoint teachers of his choosing,
making sure only ideologically compatible faculty were hired which would contribute to
the indoctrination and recruitment of student followers (McCormick 1987, 3).
Having already explored Guzmns Marxist and Leninist interpretation of Peruvian
reality as well as his own faction from the PCP-BR, we emphasize his leadership in his
own party, the Partido Comunista del Per- Por el luminoso sendero de Maritegui.
Guzmn based his ideology on Mao and used violence as the means to destroy the old,
unequal and decadent order. Through this destruction he promised a new and brighter
future; a new structural as well as moral order. A combination of strategic timing in the
tumulus political atmosphere and the combined use of anti elitist sentiments in the
highlands allowed Guzmn to perpetuate a deeply rooted grievance against the capitalist
society and structure which he deemed infirm (El Diario entrevista del siglo 24 de
Julio de 1988).
Guzmans ability to inspire and motivate people through ideology seems to be the
driving force behind many of the militants. This quality has to do with his oratory skills
as a professor and lawyer as well as his ability to clearly communicate an intellectual
vision that appealed to his constituents. Viewed as a heroic figure by his followers, they
assume the role of his disciples creating a relationship whose nature results in a high
degree of group unity (McCormick 1987, 6). There was something more than the
professor student relationship that Guzmn evoked and his followers were in some ways
religiously obsessed with him as the father that would lead them spiritually. Catchy, yet
truly inspiring phrases such as Ustedes son la vanguardia de 15 mil millones de aos de
historia en movimiento (State of fear) characterize Guzmns ability to make the

Loebenstein 73
proletariat identify with his cause but also allow peasants to feel included in the process
of change. Many scholars stress his personality cult and the fact that no other group in
the Marxist tradition has placed such emphasis on the intellectual status of its leader
(Palmer 43). As explored in later sections, the Shining Path ideology propagated by
Guzmn appealed to a range of citizens.

ii The Central Committee

The following section emphasizes the structure of Sendero, which helps
differentiate the intellectuals that formed the Central Committee from the Andean peasant
majority. The Central Committee, also known as the cpula, named Abimael Guzmn
Jefe del Partido y la Revolucin. Other members of the group also had code names, a
popuar practice to increase the feelings of the familial structure, which Sendero provided
to increase ingroup cohesion. Augusta La Torre (his wife) was camarada Nora and his
future wife Elena Iparraguirre was called camarada Miriam (Manrique 2007, 31). As
the organization grew in power and influence, it became more messianic in nature around
the charisma of Guzmn. The ideology perpetuated by Guzmn adds to this idea of
Sendero Luminoso having a messianic nature. Gustavo Gorritis explains how for many
Shining Path members, the idea of dying took on the intense interaction of both a
mystical and a sensual experience (105). A Shining Path militant from the Upper Hualaga
Valley anonymously wrote the following ballad in 1984:
On the way out of Aucayacu
theres a body, who could it be
surely its a peasant who gave his life for the struggle
Today the quota must be filled
If we have to give our blood for revolution, how good will
it be (Gorriti 1999, 106).

Loebenstein 74
This idea of cuota de sangre29 perpetuated an attitude of suicidal confrontation giving
Guzmn the weapon of radicalized, almost blind and devoted followers until the end
(106). Thus, President Gonzalo and his mythical image demanded loyalty from his
followers to the revolution over affective ties, traditional family relations, and daily life
(Stern, 1998).
Furthermore, the PCP-SL operated under a secretive cell structure run by middle
class educated intellectuals (Stern 1998). Developing their own cultures, this facilitated
the indoctrination of other members into the principles and ideology (Stern 1998). The
party leadership, stemming from the origins of the PCP-BR initially received information
about the southern highlands geographic and topographic reality, the internal structure of
the communities, peasant goals and above all, the local authority networks of power,
which would be removed with the armed struggle (Palmer 47).
Marisa Mealy and Carol Shaw Austad argue that at the core of this leadership's
revolutionary ideology was benevolent prejudice" in the sense that the prejudice was
associated with superficial positive emotions as well as a perception of the other as
generally incompetent and inferior. They state that many members of the PCP-SL
stereotyped the indigenous peoples as innately passive and helpless and that the Central
Committee saw themselves as the protectors of a primitive and uncivilized indigenous
peasantry (9-10). Key documents clearly stated that it was incumbent upon them to
organize and lead the indigenous peasantry indicating a type of paternalism between
Sendero Luminoso and the indigenous peoples that would result in a systemic hierarchy.
According to Mealy, the Committee advised that it was the obligation of the mestizo

quota. This concept comes from the idea that it is necessary to pay a share of deaths for
the revolution.

Loebenstein 75
proletariat, as they represented the leading class of all revolutions. They further stated
they were the most conscious and best-organized section of the masses of society and
where thus fit to lead the indigenous peasantry toward rebellion through the armed
struggle. As Mealy suggests, it may very well be that the party leadership thought the
peasantry was incapable of mobilizing without the help of the mestizo middle class.
The difference between the intellectual composition of Guzmn and his Central
Committee versus the actual rank and file of the movement is significant. Those who
propagate ideas were already established intellectuals and politically active individuals.
Augusta La Torres familial history as the daughter of a Communist Party militant and the
granddaughter of a prominent political figure demonstrates the importance of the familial
type connections in the formation of the PCP-SL. In her case, parents and children were
united in their support of Sendero. Even though she was second in command and an
essential part of the Central Committee, many have questioned her revolutionary
credentials, diminishing her role to Guzmns wife. On the other side, the majority of the
Shining Path members, the rank and file, were composed of highland peasants, students,
women, inmates, children, and indigenous populations.

iii . The Base of Sendero: Andean Highland Peasants

Whether one chooses to accept the vision that the Shining Path was mainly
composed of peasants or that it was in fact the intellectual student youth, one cannot deny
the significant role peasants played within the Shinning Path. The overwhelming amount
of literature and research points to the rural highland peasantry as the base of the
movement. The CVR, in the section titled El PCP-SL en el Campo Ayacuchano describes

Loebenstein 76
how the Shining Path capitalized the sentiments of marginalization, isolation and
inequality that existed in the southern highland region. This dominant view is one that is
represented not only throughout most of Shining Path literature but also in many of the
documentaries and interviews available. Lucanamarca, the documentary film by Carlos
Crdenas and Hctor Glvez also highlights the lack of information available to
Peruvians in many rural poor areas. Ignorance from this lack of information in the
Andean highlands supports the idea that the Peruvian state was absent in these regions.
The fact that many peasants were not aware of who the actual political leaders of the
country were is one that may lead to the understanding of why some peasants initially
saw Sendero as the ultimate authority and perhaps Gonzalo as their actual president. The
documentary includes the interview of a man explains his own ignorance and
Juntaba a los nios. Les enseaban, aprovechndose de los jvenes. Tena
13 aos, nos obligaban a participar. Nos llevaban a los salones de la
escuela. Nos enseaban cosas como matar, como atacar a un pueblo, con
que armas defendernos. Nos enseaban a expresarnos. Primeramene
saludos al camarada Abimael Guzmn. No sabamos si el estado mandaba o
quien mandaba el Sendero Luminoso. Yo mismo pensaba que el
representante de este pas o de este pueblo o el jefe mximo que nos dirige
ser [sic] pues Abimael Guzmn. As yo pensaba no, yo no saba quin era
Alan Garca, Belande toda esa [sic] cosa. Pensaba que ellos venan porque
sentan poco mas [sic] que cualquier otra cosa no.
The case of this man exemplifies the true isolation of some of the peasantry in terms of
education but more importantly their susceptibility. Another case is of the brother of the
famous Olegario Curitomay, associated with the Lucanamarca massacre in which the
Shining Path brutally murdered 69 people in and around the Lucanamarca area in 1983.

Loebenstein 77
Olegario Curitomays brother, although he had lost his brother to the conflict, seemed to
identify with Senderos ideas and stated, what they said sounded marvelous. 30 He also
asks why we cannot all be equal 31. The cases of peasants such as the Curitomay brothers
and the villager who did not even know who the president of his country was exemplify
the situation suffered by the typical peasant. The Shining Path was offering Curitomay an
alternate system of justice, which would reverse the ineffective established power
structure that oppressed him.
iv. Senderos Emphasis on Youth: The Role of Education in the PCP-SL
The focus and emphasis on youth, and especially students in terms of Shinning
Path member recruitment is a clear indicator of why such a high percentage of
Senderistas were students. Guzmn himself used the education system and connections to
teachers to gain followers and propagate his ideology throughout the highlands.
Historically, universities have been the breeding ground for Marxist and communist
thought even though Marxists have not been able to successfully maintain student
involvement after ending their studies (Palmer 1992, 161). Guzmn attempted to retain
students by strengthening the relationship between the Student Revolutionary Front, by
insisting that a substantial portion of the leadership also be engaged in teaching, and
finally by gaining administrative control of university daily student activities which
would also allow the harassment of opposition students and teachers (Palmer 1992, 162).
Simon Strong argues that for the young the Shining Path offered not only an
escape but also a chance for change and most importantly a challenge to their own elders
and a stab at ethnic revenge (74). The PCP-SL also attracts those who have acquired

Lo que decan sonaba maravilloso

Porqu no podemos ser iguales?

Loebenstein 78
education and have fought to learn Spanish in an attempt to escape their linguistic and
economic domination (Strong 74). The idea of fighting deception with education can be
seen by a statement given by a university leader of the Shining Path: The University is
waking us up, we are learning something new, something objective, which [the powerful]
do not like; it doesnt suit them at all because they want us to remain deceived (Palmer
1992, 42). Unfortunately for those from the highlands, the democratization feeling
provided by education lasts only on the educational level but it does not necessarily
transfer over into the social, cultural, or political planes in Peru.
In a society in which most want to learn but are not afforded this privilege, those
from the lower classes who do manage to obtain an education are faced with the hard and
sad fact that the official Peru has no place for them and will continue to discriminate
against them via institutional and non institutional racism as well as through the
bureaucracy. The seduction of that comes from the power that arms provide not only gave
power to the young but also perhaps for the first time forced adults to listen to them
(Palmer 42). Overall the historical ethnic cleavages and cultural alienation of indigenous
people in Peru repeat itself in the shoes of students allowing for the seeds of Sendero
Luminoso to be planted as seeds of hope to change this reality.
v. A System of Double Oppression: Women in Sendero Luminoso
Without question, the Shining Path gained strength with the presence of female
members. Although Peruvian women do pursue higher education, traditional society, the
machista society, in general regulates them to secondary roles such as home keeping and
child rearing (Palmer 1992, 180). Most women are restricted in traditional home keeping
roles and women who do venture into business tend to largely hold secondary roles

Loebenstein 79
relative to their male counterparts (Palmer 1992, 180). The lower the socioeconomic
class, the more hardships Peruvians face. According to Gabriela Tarazonaa-Sevillano,
for women, Sendero offers an escape, a promise to treat both its male and females
members equally (Palmer 1992, 180). Women thus fought for more than just political
and economic justice as fighting in Senderos ranks allowed them to do so for equality
(Palmer 1992, 180). The PCP-SL thus offered women the promise of an escape from this
actuality towards a reality in which womens participation is critical and wanted. Lenin,
Mao and Maritegui had all talked about the importance of women in revolutions and
Guzmn adapted this to the Peruvian situation (Palmer 1992, 180).
Teachers in the Shining Paths schools emphasized that women needed to be
aware of the double exploitation they faced, those of class and gender and the importance
of fighting for the emancipation of both (Palmer 1992, 181). Furthermore, women held
key positions within the ranks of the PCP-SL and were often assigned the most ruthless
terrorist assignments (Palmer 1992, 181). These tasks given to women, they believed
would provide an opportunity to prove themselves in their capacity as leaders but also a
way to strike back at the society, which restrained them (Palmer 1992, 181). In some
ways, they were able to gain equality with men since in theory it is class, not gender that
matters to the Shining Path. Within the ideology the condition of being biologically
feminine was equivalent to being a mineworker or an intellectual (Kirk 43). Sendero
actively recruited women and allowed them in positions of power (Kirk 35). In fact, eight
out of the 19 members of the PCP-SLs Central Committee were women, and out of the
five members of the Political Bureau, two were women (Portugal 19). Guzmn even
made the second and third in command of the PCP-SL hierarchy women.

Loebenstein 80
Furthermore, Robin Kirks 1993 study of women found that womens participation
was crucial to the partys expansion as they commanded squads in charge of military
operations and intelligence. Through a series of interviews Kirk argues that women in
Sendero joined for a variety of reasons, such as fighting for a cause, because Sendero
represented a family, fighting against the system that oppressed them, and for the
Pensamiento Gonzalo ideology. Kirk observes how the Peruvian government tended to
portray all Senderista women as radical and completely crazy. For the newspapers, he
says, slo hay dos tipos de mujer senderista: la autmata asexuada, fra como el metal de
un instrumento blico; o la diosa de lujuria, una ninfmana sedienta de sangre (Kirk 17).
This is an example of how the press focused on the cruelty, beauty and sexual appetite of
these women, demonizing them to an inhuman level, enabling the state to continue to
unrealistically portray the terrorists, focusing on fiction. Throughout the entire internal
conflict, women are depicted as inhumane or even dangerous monsters. These kinds of
narratives depicting the cruelty of women are common and the story of a women called
La Chata32 is just one popular example. In November of 1990, La Chata led an
attack on the farm of prominent man from Lima in 1990. Forcing the owner of the farm,
Javier Puiggrs to kneel, the stories explain how she made hum kneel for the juicio
popular a euphemism for public execution (Kirk 17). She called him la mala yerba and
that he had to be [arrancado] desde a raz (Kirk 17). According to the press she
ruthlessly executed men and when she was shot and found with two other Shining Path
members, the press called them her lovers (Kirk 17).


Chata in Peruvian slang is the feminine version of the word chato, meaning short.
It is a common nickname for short Peruvians.

Loebenstein 81
The idea of women as object as sexual desire links the treatment of terrorist
women and the authoritarian practices employed by the state with the idea of symbolic
trashing evident in Roco Silva Santistetebans book. This idea of trashing or
degradation the bodies of women is compared to the trophies of war by the Peruvian
military (Santisteban107). An example of this is the case of a woman nicknamed La
Gringa who taught at a school in Aucayacu in Hunuco. Accused of being a terrorist, she
is taken prisoner and interrogated. At first she accepts prostitution for the possibility of
freedom (and life) but when the commander gets confirmation that she is in fact a
terrorist, her body becomes an object of disgust. Now that she has been deemed a terrorist
in their eyes, the captain states that they should not do anything to her porque es una
terrucaza. A ella no le hagan nada (Santisteban 110). As a terrorist, as a Senderista, her
body becomes a sexual taboo and her life is consequently worth nothing as they
proceeded to torture her. The grotesque methods of torture and humiliation involved rape
even after her death. The depictions of women as inhumane or cruel helped authorities
disregard the lives of terrorists and especially of women. These stories explain the
narrative of violence initiated by Sendero and the states strategy and violent backlash.
The violent reaction from the state is increased, as Senderista women were no longer seen
as equal to other women. These women were deemed indigenous monsters and alienated
from society. This plays into the concept of revenge and vengeance that motivated some
individuals to join Sendero.
The testimony of Giorgina Gamboa also contributes to this process violence in
that it tells the story of how seven policemen raped her in custody and her inhumane
treatment throughout her incarceration and consequent pregnancy. Many other

Loebenstein 82
terrorists in custody were stereotyped not only for the purpose of torture but also
perhaps so that the men committing the torture could in some sense justify their own
actions against the prisoners. El estereotipo del senderista es tambin un producto
directo de la busurizacin pues organiza a un sujeto desde pocos elementos
fundamentales bsicos y niega toda posibilidad de humanidad (Santisteban 82). At the
same time, this stereotype construction differs slightly for women in that women were
viewed as cruel, harsh and cold-blooded (Santisteban 82). This plays on a militarization
of Senderista women on the basis that they were charged with difficult tasks in order to
prove their equality to men (Santisteban 82). The forceful brutality employed in the rape
of Gamboa reflects the idea of a strong connection between racial insults and the women
who were tortured and or raped during the internal conflict. Racist insults such as chola
asquerosa, chola de mierda, india bruta were commonly reported in the CVR victims
testimonies (Santisteban 84).
The dehumanization process of women was institutionalized to explain the
radical terrorist behavior of women were normally seen as passive and incapable of
making any kind of social or political noise. A police-training manual in 1990 explains
the personality traits of the mujeres subversives. In other words Senderista women are
described as follows.
Son ms determinadas y peligrosas que los hombres, tienen conductas
absolutistas, y se consideran capaces de desempear cualquier misin,
poseen la dicotoma de la debilidad y la dureza, son indulgentes,
sumamente severasexplotan y manipulan al prjimo, son impulsivas y
arriesgadas (Kirk 18).
Here Kirk demonstrates the terminology and an idea propagated by the state but also
alludes to the ineffective conduct of the police. As in most cases where government fights

Loebenstein 83
terror, the state profits from showing off their detained suspects of terrorism in press
conferences as well as in the media as a whole (Kirk). They want to demonstrate their
capacities to capture and control terrorists in order to in some ways reassure the public
and by denominating these women as monsters, they are able to overturn the traditional
view of women as weak and or passive. This seemed to work only because of the initial
negative reactions that many Peruvians, especially men, had towards the idea as women
as terrorists. Women having the capacity to murder, kill and defy the state in aggressive
and violent ways seemed to be unnatural from the Latin woman as a caretaker, stereotype.
Although the participation of women in the Shining Path was critical, it is
important to note that the percentage of women militants by no means outnumbers those
of men. In her study of 700 testimonies of PCP-SL militants, Andrea Portugal determines
that only 18.3 percent of these militants were women. Even though there were women in
the leadership and the rank in file, these findings are consistent with the CVR reports
determining that this was mostly male lead organization.
In the 1970s while universities became seedbeds for the Shining Path, prisons
became the main centers for ideological training (Tulchin and Bland 91). The massive
and permanent cadre schools in the prisons allowed for the ideological conversion of men
and women. The pro Shining Path newspaper, El Diario argued that detainees were
prisoners of war, combatants of the Peoples Guerilla Army led by the PCP and that even
as prisoners, they maintained the task of combatants (Strong 153). Visitors of prisons like
El Frontn and Lurigancho have been impressed by
The rebel inmates orderliness and cleanliness; how no prison guard
ventured into their cell blocks, how slogans were chanted while they
were in military squares or as they marched up and down below
portraits of Marx, Lenin and Mao. They cooked their own food.

Loebenstein 84
Revolutionary songs were sung. There were indoctrination classes.
The Library at Lurigancho was stocked with just communist classics
but also with philosophical works and novels (Strong 153).
This description of the Shining Path influence in the jails of Peru explains why the
government believed that the jails were being used as command centers for attacks in
Lima as they did not lack organization (Strong 153).

vii. Senderistas Made in Prisons

People would enter prison and even if they were not Shining Path to begin with,
they would come out converted. There could be a multitude of reasons why innocent
people are converted in jails including pressure to fit in, threats, grievances, sympathy
towards the cause, social and political mobility within the prison and when released,
torture, rape and much more. Magdalena Monteza, in the documentary State of Fear
explains how las crceles se llenaron de inocentes. Magdalena, a student who showed
up to the university every other day was arrested and interrogated. In those interrogations
she was beaten, raped and tortured. As a result of the rapes she becomes pregnant and
says lo que me dola ms es lo que me haban hecho, no quera vivir (State of Fear).
Another example in State of Fear is of Jos Vizcardo who becomes a Shining Path
lieutenant in prison even though when he entered prison as a student, he was not. He
says that se viva una cierta camadera in prison, which helped him join, and when he
was released, he was able to practice what he had learned (State of Fear). Another
interviewee from prison stated that si tienes que morir por una causa pues a morir se ha
dicho porque es una causa noble que vale ms que tu propia vida (State of Fear). Clearly
this militant woman was more devoted to cause than the idea of a comrade community.

Loebenstein 85
Nevertheless, her ideological convictions were strengthened and not weakened during her
time in the Sendero controlled prison. In summary, we see that even in prison Sendero
was able to fulfill the needs of prisoners psychologically and physically. Relating La
Sernas argument which hangs on established justice and power pacts, the prisoners who
needed a system of order and justice within prison, perhaps even a system of protection
joined Sendero. Those who did not need this are perhaps the rest that did not join Sendero
in prison.
viii. Indoctrinating the Children
It is not surprising then that from its inception in the early 1970s, the Shining Path
emphasized youth in order to influence the upcoming generations. Cadres that left
Huamanga would return to the countryside to become primary and secondary school
instructors (McCormick 1990, 13). Children, according to a PCP-SL document must be
encouraged to participate in the popular war. They are the future [and] must change their
ideology and adopt that of the proletariat (McCormick 1990, 13). If the young had little
or no political past, they would be more open to the Pensamiento Gonzalo and therefore
they only had to be educated, not completely reeducated (McCormick 1990, 13). Ideally
Sendero stated this reeducation but did not provide their members with a choice or the
completion of any professional degrees. This was simply a cover up for what was
essential pure indoctrination. The Shining Path also concentrated its work in rural areas
through the education systems. Militants who worked as rural teachers surveyed their
communities for their party and would raise class-consciousness in the children under
their instruction (Palmer 47). Accompanied but their teacher, Palmer quotes children

Loebenstein 86
singing in Quechua: the right? no no no; the left? no no no; the armed struggle? yes yes
yes! (47).
The documentary State of Fear, as well as other news reports, has shown how
child soldiers formed part of the PCP-SLs strategy. In State of Fear, Bernavides Cuevas,
a child solider kidnapped by the Shining Path at age six tells his story. Militants told him
me sigues o te matamos and that by age 11 he directed a town with others who had
captured him. He explained the psychological hardships of killing remembering that
despus de matar por la primera vez se volvi un vicio that it was like giving candy to
a child, that was how the guerilla worked. Cuevas also talks about how his brother, who
was also a militant, wanted to leave Sendero and live with his girlfriend. When the
brother did this, they were both murdered by Sendero, which angered and hurt Cuevas so
much that he decided to run away and eventually escaped.
The Cuevas indoctrination narrative is exemplary in that it demonstrates the
Senderista effort to recruit children and offer them an opportunity for power and
importance, which they may have not had in their previous conditions. Furthermore, the
threat of death and violence is also a motivational factor for any human being. Cuevas
lived in an Amazonian village, which perhaps did not have an effective justice or power
structure. As La Serna suggests this could cause villagers to feel inadequate, allowing for
Sendero to insert a grip in the village. Once Cuevas realized he no longer agreed with the
system of justice and power the Shining Path imposed, he left. This kind type of attitude
change, or change of heart was not uncommon. Many Senderistas actually ended up
joinig the rondas campesinas or citizen defense groups.

Loebenstein 87
The CVR has state that the most common way to recruit children was done
through schools, and in the highlands this persisted until 1987 (CVR 2003 V:615 in
Portugal 56). The PCP-SL would enter schools looking for the strongest, tallest and
brightest students. Representative testimonies state:
A los mayorcitos, entre 10 a 12 aos, se los llevaron al monte. Al professor
le dijeron que despus de 3 mese los devolvan, Se opuso y por eso lo
mataron (CVR testimony 302135)
vena los terroristas, de noche noms, a pedir apoyo, y se llevaban a
nuestro alumnos, entre ellos tenemos dos alumnos mayorcitos de 10 y 9
aosse imaginan ustedes cmo le iban adiestrando a esas criaturas con
armamentos (CVR testimony 100483)
Although not all were forced, most did so because of pressure or fear of retaliation as
when some communities refused to give a certain quota of their children voluntarily, the
Senderistas would retaliate with violence.
Furthermore, there have been television reports showing images of the Shining
Paths subversive training camps in the jungle in which small children are shown
indoctrinated and trained in armed combat with heavy weaponry. The transmitted images
come from the journalistic report from Final del Canal 2, which ultimately confirms how
Sendero Luminoso recruited children in order to indoctrinate and train them. The young
children form lines with their fist in the air shouting viva el marxismo, leninismo,
maosmo. According to the account, the reporters contacted the rebel group located in
the zone called VRAE or zona del Valle del Ro Apurmac-Ene, approximately 350
kilometers southeast of Lima were the last registered attacks against the state occurred
but also the zone were the remnants of Sendero Luminoso joined the drug traffickers
(Reportaje Canal 2). These kinds of training camps demonstrate that these children will
not only be motivated to remain with Sendero because of their ideological indoctrinations

Loebenstein 88
but also because they are being provided for by an organization which is producing a
system of justice and order as well as completing their psychological needs. If these
individuals thought about leaving the PCP-SL then they would be faced with the reality
of poverty and inequality for people of their ethnicity in the Peru of today. By feeding
grievances and providing for a system of justice that also complements the psychological
needs of members, the Shining Path not only motivated people but will most likely retain
people, and especially those captured as children.
ix. Entre la espada y la pared: The Ashnika in the Peruvian Amazon
A correlation between ethnicity and likelihood of violence existed as 75 percent of
the victims in the internal conflict spoke Quechua. In addition to the Quechua speaking
indgenas one must also pay special attention to other ethnicities beyond persons of the
highlands such as those found in the Amazon. The Selva Central del Per has been
traditionally occupied by the Ashninka, the Ynesha and the Nomatsiguenga (CVR
2003, 2.8, 241). These indigenous people, and particularly the Ashninka have been the
most hit by the internal conflict in Peru. The armed conflict in this area started in the 80s
when the Shining Path militants sought refuge from the counter offensives occurring in
Ayacucho (CVR 2003, 2.8.2, 244). At the beginning, this jungle area was transitional for
the Senderistas until they were able to secure the zone. The CVR estimates that out of 55
thousand Ashninka, about 10 thousand the Ashninka were forcefully displaced in the
valleys of Ene, Tambo and Peren, 6 thousand were killed and approximately 5 thousand
were captured by the PCP-SL, and that throughout the entirety of the conflict between 30
to 40 the Ashninka were disappeared (CVR, 2003, 2.8, 241).

Loebenstein 89
Known as fighters in the Amazon, the Ashninka people suffered near genocide
during the time of the Shining Path influence according to Anthropologist and CVR
Commissioner Carlos Ivan Degregori. In the middle of the 1980s, before the Shining Path
infiltrated this region some of the Ashninkas managed to flee deeper to the Amazon
basin (Springerov 89). Those who could not or did not manage to flee suffered frequent
kidnappings, child recruitment for military use and many were used by rebel forces
(Springerov 89). At the beginning of the 1990s, the government became involved
sending troops to the region but also distributing guns. The leader of the Ashninkas,
Luzmila Chiricente, interviewed in the documentary State of Fear, talks about how her
people were simultaneously threatened by both sides, the government and the
Senderistas, that they were entre la espada y la pared.
Beginning in 1988 the PCP-SL initiated an intensive war campaign in the zone,
increasing their presence with regular visits to the native communities and by 1989 their
presence was prominent (CVR 2003, 2.8.3, 246). At first they expelled the colonos or
people who were seen as invaders of the land and who had brought bad living such as
drug trafficking, prostitution, and other abuses of customs (CVR 2003 2.8.3, 246). The
promise of utopia was an important strategy used to recruit from the Ashninkas.
According to many of the testimonies, the PCP-SL would offer everything from cars,
money and all kinds unimaginable of goods.
The Ashninkas were susceptible to the Shining Path not only because of the
material goods offered but more so because of threats Sendero would make. Although the
government did the same, the strong presence of the Shining Path, and their geographical
encirclement of the Ashninkas provided them with little options. The Ashninkas could

Loebenstein 90
not escape from the PCP-SL as they had total control of the areas entries and exits, they
had nowhere to go, and because traditionally the Ashninkas prefer to find refuge in el
monte or the tropical forests of the region, before going to cities (CVR 2003, 2.8.3, 248).
In the case of the Ashninkas, the main method of recruitment was the use of
threats while constant surveillance caused internal paranoia within the communities.
Meanwhile Sendero sympathizers acted as the mil ojos y mil odos del partido (CVR
2003, 2.8.3, 248). The CVR cites a 45-year-old man from Puerto Ocopa:
Las gentes que iban infiltrando en los grupos que tomaban, lo que
escuchaban iban a informarle. Mientras que el pueblo no saba ya
estaban contactados. A veces decan, no vas a hablar porque hay
mil ojos, mil oidos. Mentira. Ese palo, ese arbl era mil ojos, mil
odos. Era mentira, ese no era, eran personas.33
The Shining Path also managed to convince the Ashninkas that the military was trying to
kill them or violate them. In this way, the PCP-SL was able to not only turn the
communities against the government, but also militarize them. The CVR cites an
informant from Quempiri:
(PCP-SL) ha hecho trincheras para que estn cuidando de los militares
Te ha dicho que no te vayas, te (va a) matar, te va a quitar a tu seora o te
va a vilar (los militares) y pore so se ha asustadoHa dibujado PCP-SL
(a) una persona que estaba ah en papel, una persona que estaba
violandoPCP-SL le ha enseado y le ha dicho, si sales, si vas con
militares, as le van a violar a tu mujer y a ti mismo.34
Similar threats from the PCP-SL and pressure from the military left many Ashninkas
with a hard choice to make and allowed for further control from the Senderistas. Many
testimonies comment on the idea of being forced into action. A testimony from a 48-yearold woman from Puerto Ocopa states the following about learning through force and

CVR testimony from 2000. 45 year old man from Puerto Ocopa.
CVR testimony from an interview. Man from Quempiri.

Loebenstein 91
Aprendimos a la fuerza. Haca saludar a su presidente, hacer sujecin
nica al presidente Gonzalo<<Pido la palabra, compaeros. Partiendo
con mi ms alta sujecin al maestro y gua, querido y respetado presidente
Gonzalo, que es el jefe de nuestro partido y revolucin>>. SI no cumples
(las tareas o normas dictadas por el PCP-Sl), hablas de lo que piensas y
sientes, uno mismo se critica: soy vago, ocioso, qu diablos a veces
pienso!. <<Eso es toda mi palabra>>. Tres veces noms puedes hacerlo, la
tercera aplican violencia (asesinato). 35
The Shining path managed the Ashninkas physically and psychologically through the
control of borders and transportation. For example the PCP-SL started kidnapping children
in order to indoctrinate and train them militarily. The schools used to indoctrinate the
children were called Escuelas Populares where children of ages approximately 8 to 10
attended daily classes. According to one of the testimonies in the CVR, los nios no
jugaaban, les decin que tenan que cuidar porque van a venir los militares y les van a
matar (CVR 2003, 2.8.3, 254). The Escuela Popular also taught respect for President
Gonzalo and rigorous disciplinary military training. As mentioned in the previous section,
people like Benavides Cuevas formed part of the Shining Path militancy as a child soldier.
A teenager interviewed by the CVR explains how the Shining Path
enseaba cmo matar, saquear, cmo traumar a la gente, asustar para que
huyan y quedarse con las cosas. Nos llevaban para saquear, mataban a las
gentes (Ashninkas). A las mujeres les enseaban a trabajar. Una mujer era
comando. Mataban a la gente que flojeaba, (que) estban pensativa, o por
traicin a tu patria (CVR 2003, 2.8.3, 255).
Thus many families attempted to hide their children in order to avoid kidnapping. In Otica
some families hid their children in the monte despite the great risk implied for parents and
children. Some of the punishments for those who were caught were limb amputation and
death. The Fuerza Principal of the Senderistas denominated all traitors individualistas and
carried out assassinations (CVR 2003, 2.8.3, 256).


Testimony from 1995, a 48-year-old woman from Puerto Ocopa

Loebenstein 92
Further violence, another part of the scheme to control the population, included
selective assassinations because of disobedience but also led to deaths from anemia,
malnutrition and diseases (CVR 2003, 2.8.3, 256). Children suffered the most from this
violence and especially malnutrition:
Dice, que cuando ya no haba que comer, los nios ya eracon anemia,
ya coman tierra, ya no coman ni sal, iba a sacar sude palmera, su
chonta () A veces coman tierra los nios y bastantes moran (CVR
2003, 2.8.3, 256). 36
Between the pressures from the Shining Path and the military that also began
forming rondas de defensa in the 90s, the Ashninkas lost their human identities. The
CVR reports that the Shining Path and that enslaved 44 Ashninka communities
bajo su control; la imposicin intencional de condiciones de vida y
existencia inhumana que acarrearon numerosas muertes por desnutricin,
hambre y agotamiento fsico, abusos sexuales, secuestro de nios para
indoctrinarlos segn su ideologa, esclavizacin, desplazamiento forzado y
la privacin grave de derechos en razn de la identidad del grupo tnico
ashninka (CVR 2003, Fascculo 3, pp 33).
The destruction of ethnicities and communal order in certain highland villages as well as
in the central jungle, by the PCP-SL formed part of their strategy in the creation of the
new state. This is related to the idea that Sendero provided for a new system of order
and justice. Through physical and psychological control the Shining Path forced the
Ashninka to join them, become their slaves, give up their children and if they refuseddeath was assured. In other words, the control over the Ashnika was not only
psychological but also physical. From the CVR report and testimonies it seems that the
Ashnika were not able to create much community action against the Shining Path. If we
follow La Sernas logic of communities needing effective justice systems, then perhaps


Male informant, 40 years old from Quempiri interviewed September 2002.

Loebenstein 93
the Ashnikas did not have this established system suggesting that Sendero actually
provided this for them.

2. Factors of Motivation
Now that we have looked at the actors of Sendero and those susceptible to the
PCP-SL, we will look at a more condensed vision of the variety of motivations to join. In
terms of gender, class, ethnicity, age, area of residence and occupation there is a very
diverse group of militants (Portugal 27). This section will argue for the idea that Sendero
provided communities that did not have effective systems of justice and order a new and
better alternative that would fulfill their psychological needs. The various motivational
factors such as; an ideology of ideology of social change, the new system of moral or
judicial order, grievances, revenge, and terror (through coercion, murder, intimidation and
rape) all help explain this idea that the Shining Path was replacing their then current
situations for the better. However, one must first ask what could have attracted people to
join a radically violent group that sought to destroy the system in order to re create a new
society? Using testimonies in Andrea Portugals article Voices From the War: Exploring
the Motivation of Sendero Luminoso Militants helps clarify this question.

a. Ideology of Social Change

Sendero Luminoso, which through its ideology managed to swallow the
individual, was also able to propagate violence from its discourse of social justice. The
idea of social change fits in context of widespread socioeconomic and ethnic inequalities
and injustices. The idea of change was seen not only by those who suffered the

Loebenstein 94
inequalities but also by many students who were sympathetic. The biography of Isabel
taken from Andrea Portugals research was a woman imprisoned in the Penitenciara de
Mxima Seguridad de Mujeres in Chorrillos is an example. Born in Lima in 1962, she
lost her parents but managed to enter Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos
UNMSM to Study Law in 1979. She talks about being moved by the death of Edith
Lagos and identifying with her. She states that this event marked her life and put her in a
dilemma lograr el ttulo, como decamos, ensamblarnos al sistema o atrevernos a coger
las armas como en el campo (CVR testimony 700057 in Portugal 29). Typical for young
people, this kind of mindset perceived their role in the future as either submissive or
brave. Isabels brother, Harold, experienced a similar situation and together they joined
the Universities PCP-SL group. In 1983, she was arrested for her participation in an
attack on a bank. She was tortured in jail and declares that:
como combatiente tena que ponerme en las peores situaciones, y una de
ellas era que me violenen el interior del estabelecimiento de la
Penitenciara, el Partido Comunista del Per- Sendero Luminoso tena una
vida organizada (CVR testimony 700057 in Portugal 29).
She began to gradually stop participating in the group in jail but when released at age 27,
she was unable to reintegrate into society. However, she joined again and had a child with
another militant. She states that
la situacin era cada vez ms grave debido a que ahora tena un nio a
quien mantener. Por otro lado, an me interesaba la poltica del Partido
Comunista- Sendero Luminoso pese a que todo lo que me haba sucedido
era diferente a lo que me dijo el Partido (CVR testimony 700057 in
Portugal 29).
Consequently in 1994, she was captured and sentenced to life imprisonment. Elizabeth,
(testimony 700041 in the CVR) was born in Ayacucho in 1963. She had worked as
domestic servant in Lima and then traveled to Huancayo in 1986 selling clothing.

Loebenstein 95
Elizabeth met a group of Senderistas who asked her to join and she claims she accepted
because she had been witness to so many injustices that she sympathized with their
discourse for fighting for social justice (Portugal 30).
Another example of the power of ideology is the case of Rosa, CVR testimony
700054. Rosa was born in Lima in 1970 and migrated to the district of Villa El Salvador
with her brothers. In 1988, Rosa started her nursing degree and UNMSM where she
worked in poor areas and participated in debated about the national situation (Portugal
30). Her participation in the debated and critical view of what was going on in the
country led her to decide to join Sendero. In her own words, she states that llega un
momento en que tienes que decir que si no ests de este lado, lo ests del otro (CVR
testimony 700054 in Portugal 30).
Similarly, Pilar (CVR testimony 700059) went by herself to study Education of
UNSCH in Ayacucho. She was the student delegate from her faculty and of the Womens
wing. In Huamanga, she states that she opened her eyes before such a cruel political and
social reality that her country lived (CVR testimony 700059 in Portugal 30). In her
testimony she refers to the state response as genocide, vocabulary often used by the
Shining Path militants (Portugal 30). As an education student, Pilar saw the injustices of
the Peruvian system and was clearly motivated by the idea of social change.
The testimonies analyzed by Andera Portugal make little reference to the
militants personal lives, which makes it difficult to completely reconstruct their pasts in
order to find common elements between the militants. Of course one cannot generalize
that all students who sympathized with the Shining Path actually went to war or joined
the group. There were those who sympathized with the ideas of social change and did not

Loebenstein 96
end up joining the ranks of the Shining Path. CVR testimonies such as that of a student of
UNE in 1990 states that
haba demasiadas injusticiasse hablaba de tanta opresin, de tanta
miseria y que la participacin, de que el estudiante deba, tena que tener
esa Guerra interna, pero como parte del movimiento revolucionario o sea
la Guerra popular de esa poca. Entonces, no todos, como yo, han ido a la
Guerra. Sin embargo, simpatizbamos mucho con todas las posiciones
histricas y otra cosa la situacin hubiera sido muy buena para las grandes
mayoras (CVR 2003, V: 616).
However, Portugal does make several connections that are also reaffirmed by the CVRs
final report. First, many of the militants were young students from public universities
studying in Faculties of Social Sciences, Education and Nursing. These kinds of students
had to make sacrifices to pursue their studies such as migrations into cities, working to
pay for their studies and, in most cases they left their families behind. Secondly, most
were born or lived in the peripheries of Lima in the poorest districts. Finally, they had a
strong sense of duty and concern for others, a kind of personal mandate of doing
something to change the unequal and unjust situation in which they and a majority of
Peruvians lived (Portugal 31). This unequal system of justice is perpetuated by the
inefficacy of the Peruvian judicial system and lack of presence in rural areas of the
highlands or Amazon. In villages where there was no established community system of
order, the Shining Paths influence was greater (La Serna). The PCP-SL offered not only
a structured system of order but also the promise of social change. It is in this light that
the socialist and radical political atmosphere of the time, especially Marxism, was
directly tied with adolescence and heavily influenced certain communities.

b. Sendero as the Provider of a New Moral Order

Loebenstein 97
The Shining Path in its initial actions strategically eliminated those people most of
the communities viewed as exhibiting immoral behaviors. To legitimize itself and attract
new members in both rural and urban areas, Sendero attempted to reestablish order
through the public punishment of peasants who flouted the communities norms
(Portugal 33). This idea relates to La Sernas argument, which differentiates between
communities who had effective historically established systems of order and those who
did not. These systems of order were necessary since the states judicial system was
ineffective for both. The communities whose own systems of order established through
landlord power structures were effective did not need or want Sendero whereas the
communities whose systems of justice and order were not established or were disrupted,
were more prone to accepting them. These susceptible villages incorporated the Shining
Path as they established a system of justice and order as well as the fact that they fulfilled
many other psychological needs.
Within the universities as mentioned previously, the PCP-SL earned its initial
support because of the ideology but also because they encouraged the dismissal of the
teachers who the majority thought were incompetent, corrupt, immoral and even the
professors who had sexual intercourse with students (Portugal 33). The CVR testimonies,
especially student testimonies reveal how unhappy students were with the bureaucratic
inefficacy and corruption of authorities and teachers (Portugal 33). By eradicating this
kind of corruption, Sendero attracted many students. The CVR testimony of a former
Universidad Nacional del Centro del Per (UNCP) student recalls how the sexual
Desapareci, y fue muy positivo dentro de la Universidad, el chantaje
sexual de los profesores, desapareci el cobro para aprobar a un alumno,

Loebenstein 98
haba cierto temor, cierto respeto porque estos grupos en las incursiones
sealaban que estas acciones negativas no tenan por qu estar sucediendo
y que los castigaran (CVR 2003, V: 669).
This kind of cleansing provided by the Shining Path formed part of the construction of
the new moral order in universities but also moved in its attempt to restructure Peruvian
society as a whole. The wide spread conceptions of Peru as a corrupt, unjust, and hungry
capitalist elite society that oppresses its Poor was seen throughout society. By
constructing an idea of a new moral order that would benefit those in need, the Shining
Path played on the needs and desires of the poor sectors of society. Finally, it is important
to note that the established system of order was clearly viewed as immoral and
ineffective. Thus it is in this environment that Sendero was able to provide a new system
of moral justice which aimed to eradicate the corruption and indecency of the established

c. Grievances: Exclusion, Discrimination and Abuse

The common recurring traits within most of the available CVR testimonies
(students and those from poor or rural backgrounds) are direct and or indirect exclusion,
as well as discrimination and abuse. These feelings seem to become exasperated over
time as they try to fit into the system and move upwards through education (Portugal
35). The testimonies as well as Shining Path literature has illustrated how those who
became militants were discriminated against because of issues like social class, place of
origin, gender and their ethnicities all of which are associated with the stigma of Indians
in Peru. The following two excerpts of CVR testimony illustrate and hint at the
profoundness of these grievances:

Loebenstein 99
En Huamanga, jvenes de ciudades intermedias y pueblos pequeos
llegaron a la Universidad con grandes expectativas, pero a la larga iban
comprendiendo que eran muy pocas las posibilidades de movilidad social
por la estructura centralista y desigual del pas. Las incertidumbres
generadas en estos jvenes fueron llenadas por una propuesta poltica
basada en el fundamentalismo poltico, la cultura del enfrentamiento y una
lectura ideologizada de los procesos sociales que experimentaba el Per
(CVR 2003,V:600).
El PCP-SL apelaba a rabiasno s si ocultas, rabias directas, abiertas y
creo que ese fue un poco el mensaje que fue jalando a muchos estudiantes
cantuteos a Sendero Luminoso. Ese odio de clase, esa gran diferencia
social que haba: gente con tanto dinero y gente que no tiene, porque todos
estbamos en esa misma situacin (CVR 2003, V: 619).
The grievances described in the above quotations highlight the unequal structure
of Peruvian society that did not allow for the poor to better their conditions.
Providing mobility out of these structures, Sendero also appealed to the rage and
discontent that come with the inequality. As examples of this appeal towards
grievances, these testimonies show that how the marginalized and stigmatized
sectors of the population were motivated.
Furthermore, grievances or anger as the last testimony explains, increased during
the economic and social crisis of 1987 and 1988. This crisis forced many students to
abandon their studies (Palmer 180). Resentment from the younger generation created yet
another motive to join Sendero in this case as the crisis prevented student from entering
the Peruvian University System. According to Palmer, of 217,679 students applying to
public universities in 1987, 36,469 (16.7 percent) were accepted; of 95,131 students
applying to private universities, 28,651 (30.2 percent) were accepted (180). Thus
247,670 applicants failed to enter the Peruvian university system in 1987, which is close
to 80 percent (Palmer 180). These students lacked the opportunity for advancement which

Loebenstein 100
decreased their possibilities of a better future. For them, finding employment would also
be impossible. It is here that the Shining Path offers an outlet for the resulting hostility
these young men and women feel toward the system (Palmer 1992, 180).
Like the previous testimonies, Andrea Portugal quotes Narda Henriquez as she
expands on the testimony. This account presents an imprisoned middle-rank militants
experiences with poverty but also how she found the path that she needed to take.
lo que a m me ha llevado son las causas de opresin, miseria, porque yo
en carne propia he vividoEntonces llegado el momento uno deca: basta
ya. Haba una guerra interna en el Per. El pueblo, la gente pobre, se vi
en la disyuntiva de qu hacer: o apoyas la revolucin o apoyas la
contrarrevolucin. Ya cada quin se defina qu camino tomar (Portugal
Consequently, the political situation of Peru during the internal war was a breeding
ground for action against grievances and the idea of revenge resulting in a change of then
current economic and social conditions. The CVR states that PCP-SL was able to
capitalize sentiments of marginalization, a sense of abandonment by the government and
inequality, which existed in the poor regions of the country, especially the highlands
(CVR 2003, 2.1, 17). Grievances are also tied to the idea that the government had
abandoned these sectors of the population. Since the government did not provide a
system of justice many joined Sendero. However those who felt victimized by Sendero as
they already had a communal system of justice, joined CAD or Comits de Autodefensa.
Armed by the Fujimori government, rondas were initiated in 1991 (CVR 2003,
42). In other words, the population assumed the role of the state in areas that did not have
previously established systems of justice and order. Consequently, in some cases the
CADs are created to fend of the abuses of the Senderistas while others are created to fend
of the military itself. The irony of some testimonies describing the rondas were that

Loebenstein 101
initially it was ex-senderistas who joined the rondas because of regret or personal
resentments and regret for what they had done (CVR 2003, 42).
The CVR does, however, acknowledge the complexity of the situation, stating
that it was not only grievances which motivated people to join but that it was also passive
submission, curiosity, and the state of fear which most Peruvians, especially students and
indigenous populations lived in those times (CVR 2003, V, 2.1, 17).

d. The Role of Revenge for Senderistas in an Unequal Peru

Another additional motivator mentioned by Andrea Portugal and other academics
is a deep desire for revenge, especially ethnic revenge 37 that many poor people and
indigenous populations felt. In her article, Portugal explains how government repression,
including a multitude of massacres in the Andean and other indigenous communities led
many peasants, artisans and students to join the party to avenge the death of family
members (38).
One testimony states, Its been 160 years of government by the rich. Now its our
turn, (Koppel 16). This statement made by one of shantytown residents who supported
the guerillas desire for revenge and especially the desire to govern. Likewise, the
testimony of Andrs reveals how is strong desire for revenge led him to join the Shining
Path to compensate for his hatred and his losses (CVR testimony 720036 in Portugal 38).
Born in Ayacucho, Andres eventually became the Chief of Security of the Shining Path
and was eventually imprisoned at the Penal de Yanamilla in Ayacucho (Portugal 38).
Andrs reveals how before he joined the movement, in 1983, terrorists arrived and began

Ethnic revenge concept taken from page 74 of: Strong, Simon. Shining Path: The
World's Deadliest Revolutionary Force. Hammersmith, London: HarperCollins Publisher,
1992. Print.

Loebenstein 102
organizing his village and telling them they needed to abandon the village because the
military was coming to kill them. Many, thinking this was true, hid in the mountains with
their families, following the Senderistas. He lived hidden in the mountains with his
family until 1984, when they were captured by ronderos and taken to an abandoned
house. He recalls:
pude escuchar fuertes gritos y pedidos de piedad de muchas mujeres
como 18 personas eran, todas mujeres, all concentraron en una casita, y
yo estaba mirando del frente; los militares entraban y salan de esa casa y
al da siguiente, metieron una rfaga del patio; eran casi 40 soldados
desde ese momento, atravec una situacin crtica y no tuve a nadie a mi
lado, pues con mi hermana Chiquita, juntos andbamos y dormamos
juntos (CVR 2003 testimony 720036 in Portugal 39).
When captured, Andrs stated that he did not join Sendero because of conviction, rather
for fear of dying and because he was resentful against the soldiers who killed his mother.
Testimonies such as these are insightful but they do not guarantee that subjects are
entirely truthful. Alternative motives such as maintaining the same story reacted during
torture sessions in captivity is only one of many reasons prisoners could and might easily
lie or alter the truth in the CVR testimonies. Clearly it is impossible to evaluate the
degree to which testimonies from either side are truthful and or accurate. Considering the
amount of individuals who have been interviewed and or questioned throughout the
entirety of the conflict, there are some clear patterns. The fact that testimonies lack 100
percent accuracy in terms of details or exaggerations does not render them useless for our
purposes. As most terrorist testimonies come from already imprisoned individuals, it is
safe to assume that their testimonies are accurate enough considering that they have no
reason to lie as it will not improve their prison sentence. The fact that motivations seem

Loebenstein 103
to be rather similar across testimonies also supports the overall accuracy and usefulness
of these accounts.
Finally it is important to note that for sectors of Peruvian society such as those
who had sacrificed everything to send their children to universities, the desire to revenge
was strong since the system prevented their now educated children to integrate into
society as the professionals they were because of ethnic stigmas. The frustration on
discovering that the official Peru has no place for them and the fact that they would
continue to be discriminated against via racism and impenetrable bureaucracy, makes
them easy recruits for the Shining Path. For the disillusioned and racially and culturally
alienated, the movement offers hope, identity and self-advancement as well as a chance to
unleash historic ethnic and social vengeance (Palmer 74). The idea of a yearning for
revenge from the system that was clearly oppressing this population tied into this papers
argument that Sendero provided for an alternative to the very same frustrations and
system of order that were vengeance desires. In communities that felt that there was no
system of authority, no power structure that would change present circumstances, people
sought Sendero as an alternative as which would not only fulfill their psychical
psychological needs but also their desire of vengeance.
e. Terror and Violence as a Means of Controlling the Population
According to many of the testimonies available in the CVR, documentaries and
Shining Path literature motivations to join the Shining Path also included fear. By fear we
must understand that Sendero Luminoso strategically applied terror, coercion, massacres,
or individual murders, torture, intimidation through threats and in some cases even rape.
Although many Senderistas joined on their own accords, the CVR also shows testimonies

Loebenstein 104
in which people were forced against their own will. A 2002 CVR interview with a
villager from Pujas in Vilcashuamn stated how the PCP-SL valindose en armas,
obligaron a la comunidad contra su voluntad (CVR 2003, 33).
According to the CVRs final report, the Shining Path was responsible for 1,543
cases of disappeared people, and the deaths of approximately 12, 564 people. This data
represents 54% of the total deaths during the internal conflict. Furthermore, the amount
of actual victims killed by the Shining Path exceeds 1.7 times the number of dead and
disappeared that the state was responsible for (CVR 2003, 1.1.2, 15). 50 percent of the
murders attributed to Sendero were reported by the CVR to have occurred in the
department of Ayacucho. Ayacucho suffered almost four times the victims that Junn
suffered, followed by Huncuco, Huancavelica and Apurmac (CVR 2003, 1.1.2, 16).
Attacking, coercing and threatening with purpose, the terrorist actions of Sendero
Luminoso, especially those of the juicios populares, allowed them to impose control over
specific areas of the country. Control was key for the Shining Path and perhaps why 24
percent of the assassinations on their part were of local authority figures or social
directors. In that way, they were able to fill the authority gap not provided by the state.
By also controlling the population with more ease they represented the only and all
authority in many areas. The CVR distinguishes between selective assassinations in urban
areas versus the rural highlands. They state that the first had the objective of terrorizing
the population to take advantage of the urban zone, which would make their political
objectives resonate. The second had the objective of generating power vacuums that
would replace the old structure with the new power through comisarios in various
zones. By replacing these old ineffective structures Sendero sough control of the

Loebenstein 105
populations to convince them that they were now the new power in control, It is thus
through fear and violence as well as because Sendero replaced what they may have
deemed ineffective structures, that many Peruvians rural or urban militants were
motivated to join the ranks.

3. A Slogan for Change

The Shining Path utilized a variety of methods of recruitment, depending on the
year, area and conditions encountered. Recruitment is directly tied to many of the
previous observations in the earlier motivation section, although it is important to note
that these were done intentionally. The PCP-SL did no solely rule by terror, but attempted
to present an alternative to the countrys political and social conditions. According to
Koppel the Shining Path does not recruit from the most politically experienced and
confident working-class fighters, or even seasoned peasant activists but rather from rural
villagers and peasantry most likely isolated and underdeveloped areas of the country, as
well as shantytown dwellers, particularly unemployed youth (16). Perhaps this is due to
the fact that seasoned peasant activists had other ideas or examples for means to overturn
the system that oppressed most indigenous and did not necessarily turn to Sendero as the
way out to establish a new system of order. The Shining Path was consequently left with
intellectuals on one side and on the other with their main base of support. This main base,
the indigenous communities, saw the Sendero as the only way to overturn the system.
According to Kirk, to lay the foundations of a successful struggle the Shining Path
needed to organize and recruit a critical mass of supporters which was accomplished
using highly evolved propaganda campaigns (quoted in Mealy 11). Propaganda targeted

Loebenstein 106
indigenous peasants who were viewed as the principal combatants and with its slogan for
change and promises of a better future; the Shining Path above all offered a promise of
order (Koppel 17). Also known as the discurso de igualdad, the Shining Path announced
these political ideas in plazas such as in Vilcashuamn but also in their teachings (CVR
2003, 19). One of the testimonies of a PCP-SL leader in the CVR reveals that the
PCP-SL would say that nosotros estamos luchando para la gente pobre, para que seamos
iguales, para que no tengamos diferencia con ricos y pobre y as vamos a luchar (CVR
2003, 19). These discourses of equality and the promises for change are what
would allow the Shining Path to be seen as the beacon a new order.
Similarly, Sendero Luminoso provided a means of revenge for the oppressed, but
also an attempt to escape linguistic and or economic domination (Strong 74). In her
article, Andrea Portugal argues that recruitment methods include: indoctrination and
seduction in those vulnerable to the ideology found Pensamiento Gonzalo, the breakdown
of family relationships in which militants were forced to abandon their families and the
party replaced any and all notions of family, paternalism and clientelism in which
teachers and others would build opportunist relationships with Sendero, and lastly terror
and coercion as a means of cooption. Her article touches on almost all the themes covered
in Sendero recruitment literature, particularly those that involve terror.
a la mayoria los someta, la mayora tena mucho miedo, haba mucho
pnico (CVR 2003 V:668) said a teacher of Sociology at UNCP.
Se plante un Nuevo plan y ah vinieron los famosos volantes, hasta
incendiaron mi departamento mi escritorio, todoy apareci un carteln
amenazando que si no me iba me mataban. Sin embargo, yo me qued en
la facultad porque yo pensaba que no estaba haciendo nada malo, nada
fuera de lo que era favorable para la carrera (CVR 2003, V:672) said the
Dean of the Economics Faculty at the UNCP

Loebenstein 107
El temor no haba vencido, el temor era generalizado (CVR 2003, V: 671)
As the CVR testimony excerpts illustrate, the Shining Path reined and recruited mainly
with terror. These quotes illustrate a University administration perspective, which show
the impact of Senderos use of fear within educational institutions that were completely
infiltrated with Shining Path members. Pressure to join or be ousted in the universities
was widespread and Sendero was seen as not only a way of creating social change in Peru
but also as a means to teach and initiate change through students. Fear in the large sense
back many people into corners and forced them to decide if Sendero fulfilled the needs
they desired or if it did not. In essence fear was the figurative gun held to many heads
that led people to decide whether to join or not. This decision lied on effectiveness of the
individuals community justice system. The following two short excerpts reveal the
sentiments of fear commonly found in many of the victims stories:
Mi vida no vale de anda. Viene uno te mata. Viene el otro, te pega (CVR
2003 2.1.5, 35).
Acaso ramos como gente all estbamos como en nuestros sueoslos
de Sendero nos mataban, los militares no mataban, quien ya pues nos
mirara (CVR 2003 2.1.5, 35).
While Sendero Luminoso symbolized fear and selective terror, the Peruvian armed forces
formed a constant threat and danger, especially for the female population since they were
the most prone to sexual violence (CVR 2003 2.1.5, 35). Fear propagated through
terrorist acts is also reflected in the idea that the Peruvian people, especially the
indigenous populations in the highlands and the jungle were caught between two fires, or
in Spanish entre la espada y la pared.

Loebenstein 108

Conclusion of Actors and Motivations

The purpose of looking at who joined the Shining Path and what motivated them
to do so is to further the understanding of why how individual motivations whether for
personal gain or from fear or coercion relate to group actions, and in this case terrorist
actions. This chapter has argued that Senderos main base was the indigenous peasantry
of the highlands even though Amazonian indigenous and students were also a part of the
movement. Also that the main motivators to join the Shining Path had to do with whether
an individuals community power and justice structure was effective or not. These
structures stemming from colonial legacies and semi feudalism for some provided
adequate systems of justice and allowed for physical and psychological needs to be met.
Those areas in which this did not occur, are the areas where individuals were most
vulnerable towards Senderos ideology for change. Sendero appealed towards grievances
suffered by the indigenous and looked to provide a better alternative. By combining
testimonies, literature and film into an exploration of the Shining Path militants
motivations the profiles and testimonies here help create a more accurate panorama of
those involved in the Shining Path.
Furthermore, by default, this chapter points out the major flaw in the study of
Sendero Luminoso and the ramifications this has for preventing this or a similar terrorist
group from rising now that terrorists and terrorist leaders from the internal conflict are
being released from prison. If the socio economic and political problems that caused this
movement have still not been addressed, then there is little stopping these leaders from
taking action yet again. The major flaw in the study of Sendero Luminoso was brought to
light in research for this thesis since Peruvian government glossed and continues to gloss

Loebenstein 109
over terrorist testimonies. The few testimonies available can be found in the CVR report,
which for the most part only concentrates on the victims, rather than the terrorists. By
glossing over the terrorists Peru and the government replicate the strategy applied during
the conflict itself; that is a dehumanization of the terrorist. This dehumanization is linked
not only to the trashing of the womans body but also towards racism. Santistebans
account brings to light the theme of racism tied with dehumanization through the
recounting of Gina Gamboas testimony. The themes of racism tied to authoritarian
violence that attempted to make the Senderistas invisible are found even in Peruvian
cinema. For example Francisco Lombardis film represented this same invisibility of the
Senderistas in the sense that mainstream criollo culture ignores them or does not seek to
portray them as anything other than savage terrorists without faces. This depiction
contributes to the racist idea that they, the terrorists, are all the same between themselves.
Only by understanding the political and socioeconomic as was as ethnic divide in
Peru can we see the need for communities to find a new moral and judicial order. Only
then can we understand militant motivations and how the Shining Path became a symbol
for changing this unequal system for many Peruvians.

This thesis combines an analysis of the historical, political, social and economic
environment of Peru with a compilation of Sendero militant profiles, motivations and
their susceptibility. I attempt understand why SL militants did what they did through a
more human and more realistic perspective than the monstrous image portrayed by the
government, the press, and almost all other sources. The compilation of sources and

Loebenstein 110
especially interviews from the various sections of the Truth and Reconciliation
Committee Final Report create a more unified and comprehensive study of the actors
within the Shining Path as well as their motivations for joining. By bringing together
academic works, interviews, documentaries, and more in order to create a more accurate
picture of the motivations that lead individuals to join this group, this thesis attempts to
show the hidden reality and complexity of who and why joined the Shining Path. It can in
this way, also attempt to predict the behavior of isolated Peruvian communities whose
susceptibility towards ideologies or grievances against the state is increased by socio
economic disparity and that may turn to group cohesion for terrorist action.
As previously mentioned, profiles and explanations of militants are not widely
available to the public. For various reasons neither the government, the CVR, the press
nor academics have sought to create a report which would attempt to understand
individual militants and why they chose to join a group whose actions would change the
course of Peruvian history. There are many possibilities that could explain this such as
lack of government and or elite interest in these sectors of the population, the fact that
studying and giving senderistas a voice does not contribute to the VCRs reconciliation
agenda, and perhaps it also served as a government strategy.
If the government, the press and even citizens view and continue to view
members of the Shining Path as monsters, then the critical and most important issues
having to do with why this group formed are not being addressed. In the past, the armed
forces, to dehumanize the guerillas in the eyes of the local populations, distributed
pamphlets throughout the countryside warning of the dangers of the subversives
(Mealy 37). Some portrayed SL members as foreign criminals intent on destroying the

Loebenstein 111
indigenous people; others portrayed them as evil otherworldly monsters (Mealy 37). One
depiction in particular illustrates this by showing peasants cowering and running from an
enormous creature with sharp claws while behind him was a Peruvian soldier who
hurried to rescue the peasants. In order to further dehumanize the militants, they were
also often described as not fully physically human, that is physiologically different
(Theidon 549). By being depicted as monsters with three bellybuttons or genitals on
unusual places on the body, this procedure continued.
Furthermore, the conceptions of the terrorists drew on negative psychocultural
themes, extra local discourses and militant Christianity (Theidon 548). Terms used to
describe the Senderistas include; terrucos which was borrowed from the armed forces,
malafekuna or people of bad faith or conscience which adds to the idea that they were
born to kill, anticristos or antichrists, tuta puriq or those who walk at night, puriqkuna
meaning those out of place or without belonging, gringos suggesting that the Senderistas
came from other countries which relates to the idea and image of them as otherworldly,
de dos caras or two-faced, and finally piojosos or covered in lice adding to the theme of
their physical impurity (Theidon 548). It is important to note that it was not only the
government who participated in this process, but also the peasants themselves (Theidon).
In extracting the human, caring and neighborly nature out of the militants, the peasants
themselves used this as a strategy to facilitate the slaughter of members of their own
community, the senderistas within. These were of course communities in which the
established system of order functioned and was providing the community justice and

Loebenstein 112
I have mentioned the failure of the Peruvian government to address the problems
that caused and or motivated people to join the PCP-SL as one of the risks and dangers
within the prevention of terrorism. The Peruvian government, and many Latin American
governments should be aware of the fact that exclusively military responses in a socially
and economically fragmented country will not eradicate the kinds of ideas perpetuated by
Abimael Guzmn and the Shining Path, nor will they eliminate terrorists. In this sense,
Peru continues to fail to address the underlying issues causing terrorism. By employing
military violence onto populations that already suffered the most only created more
divisions within the country. This blurred the lines between good and evil from the
citizens perspective and added to the distrust of the government who was supposedly
there to protect them. The theory of relative deprivation as well as explorations of
grievances and motivators base most of their theoretical legitimacy on the socio
economic disparities within Peru. Of course the deeply rooted grievances stemming from
colonial legacies to semi feudal structures to the stigma of the Indian and inequalities,
contribute to interplay between those who actually ideologically sympathized with the
Shining Path cause and desired similar outcomes versus those Peruvians who through
terror and coercion joined the ranks.
The causes and motivations for Sendero Luminoso are vast but they lie in the
socio economic disparities of the country and especially its deeply rooted ethnical divide
and power dynamics. In fact, the power structures and systems of order within the
communities are essential in understanding why some people from rural indigenous
background joined Sendero and others did not. The answer lies in whether Sendero
provided for physical and psychological needs of these communities or whether these

Loebenstein 113
needs were already being met. To understand the inequalities that Sendero aimed to
combat facts are in order. In the first place, the World Banks Peru Poverty Report
confirms that Peru still faces high levels of poverty and inequality. Moreover, poverty
levels are significantly higher in rural areas, while urban areas most notably the
metropolitan city of Lima are the most unequal (World Bank). Even with the economic
recovery since 2001, after the crisis in the late 1990s, progress on poverty rates has been
limited. The report focuses on the explanation of why economic growth in Peru has not
translated into more rapid poverty reduction. As previously described the socio economic
inferiority status suffered by the Indians in of Peru continues the colonial legacies, which
have and still lead to the stigmatization of Indians by the ruling elite of Peru. In a country
where the majority of people are Amerindian (45%) and the rest are either mestizo (37%),
white (15%) or of Asian decent (3%), Peru maintains high ethnic tensions.
Furthermore, the absence of a strong presence of the Peruvian state-other than in
military presence38- in the provinces where the Shining Path gained followers such as the
Andean highlands and the Amazon is still a major problem. This had lead to an increased
feeling of abandonment by the populations who are still seeking reparations for their
wartime suffering. The connection between these grievances and the remnants of Sendero
are strong. The recent Shining Path attacks documented by DIRCOTE 39 suggests that the
number of terrorist actions carried out by PCP-SL in its three areas of operation, the


In my visit to Ayacucho and especially the smaller towns surrounding the city such as
Huanta, I saw the overwhelming presence of the armed forces. Men were stationed and
armed with heavy machinery in Ayacucho and mainly on the highways on the way out of
the city but also near smaller towns that I visited such as Huanta.

Direccin Contra el Terrorism

Loebenstein 114
VRAE40, Upper Huallaga and Lima show 175 attacks in 2006, 72 in 2007, 76 in 2008,
102 in 2009 and 136 in 2010 (Palmer and Bolivar 6).
Despite the fact that most of the organizations leaders are imprisoned, Sendero
continues and evolves through three different branches (Palmer and Bolivar), which is
also known as the Shining Paths resurgence. The first is the Lima based Shining Path
supporters led by their chief spokesperson Alfredo Crespo, Abimael Guzmans lawyer, as
well as Manuel Fajardo associated with the Movement for Amnesty and Fundamental
Rights known as MOVADEF. This group engages in efforts to free jailed militants, a
general amnesty campaign and expands its networks to unions and universities (Palmer
and Bolivar 9). In an attempt to find peaceful means for change, MOVADEF has
organized marches and protests in favor of granting general amnesty to those involved in
the internal conflict ironically including Alberto Fujimori and the military offenders as
well (Palmer and Bolivar 11). MOVADEF has been making attempts to enter the
legitimate political scene in Peru and attempted to participate in the April 2011 elections,
but failed. The fact that they received 150,000 signatures indicated they are making
traction through non-violence (Palmer and Bolivar 11).
The second is in the Upper Huallaga Valley region led by Florindo Eleuterio
Flores Hala, also known as Comrade Artemio. Artemio continued to follow the
Pensamiento Gonzalo until his capture in 2012. Until recently in 2012, the head of the
rebel group, known as Comrade Artemio, was the only high-profile Shining Path leader
who had not been caught or killed. On March 25, 2008, Shining Path members led by
Artemio working with drug traffickers killed a police officer and wounded eleven on an
anti-drug patrol (Council of Foreign Relations). Artemio has stated that even though the


Loebenstein 115
Shining Path hasn't been very active since the 1992 capture of Guzmn, they are rising
again and intend to grow and work in secrecy (Council of Foreign Relations).
The third is the VRAE organization led by Jos, Orlando Alejandro Borda
Casafranca, Jorge Quespe Palomino and Rolando Cabezas Figueroa (Palmer and Bolivar
10). The first two support and continue to accept Guzmans leadership and guidance
while the third, those in the VRAE reject him and prefer a military solution in the context
of their own ongoing armed struggle (Palmer and Bolivar 10). President Humala has
commented that the la derrota de Sendero en el Huallaga es absoluta after the capture
of Artemio and the more recent capture of Freddy Arenanas Caviedes aka Comrade
Praising the collaboration between the Peruvian National Police and the armed
forces, the officials who made the Artemio capture were promoted. This shows the state
is working together to be more effective but it does not necessarily mean that the causes
of the terrorism are being addressed. If the problems are neglected but the captures are
celebrated as if they signified total success, then the government taking a step backwards
in its prevention of terrorism. The importance of the Artemio capture also lies in the
regional ties with drug trafficking and cocaine production. As the second largest coca leaf
producer in the world, the cultivation of coca in Peru was an estimated 40,000 hectares in
2009 producing an estimated 225 metric tons of pure cocaine (CIA World Factbook).
The fact that the Internal Conflict did not fix or address any of these underlying
issues demonstrates the relevance of studying the motivations behind each kind of person
recruited for the Shining Path in order for the Peruvian state to prevent another group or
even to prevent Sendero Luminoso from reforming through alternative leadership. As

Loebenstein 116
former Shining Path leaders and MRTA leaders are released in the years to come, it will
be critical for the Peruvian government to take into account which citizens are susceptible
to choosing the path of terrorism and why. Since the year 2000, the concern voiced over
the almost 4,000 convicted insurgents who have completed their sentences without and
follow-up tracking policy has increased (Palmer and Bolivar 8).
In sum, it is essential to understand the Shining Path militants, as human beings
who in many cases were coerced or actually identified with an ideology or movements,
which, unlike the state had ever attempted to do, actually seemed to guard their best
interests. We have to understand why they did what they did. If we fall into the racist and
classist trap of deeming the senderistas what the Peruvian state deemed them throughout
the internal conflict, then we are propagating the same stereotypes and problems, which
caused the PCP-SL to form in the first place. In humanizing the senderistas and
compiling theories and motivations to explain their actions as individuals but also as part
of a cohesive group unit, my ultimate goal is certainly not to justify their actions nor
terrorists actions. Rather, I aim to represent them and their motivations as well as their
complexity as citizens. Furthermore, I am not advocating for or against PCP-SL ideology.
My objective as an undergraduate liberal arts student studying International Studies,
politics and Latin America, is to bring to light a missing viewpoint in the study of
terrorism, which may clarify the motivations and humanize militants in order to add to a
field of analysis, which may help to more successfully prevent any type of violent
After all, understanding the terrorists thus may help in terrorism prevention. It
may help the Peruvian government understand that what it needs is a fair system of

Loebenstein 117
justice and governance, which will take an active role in all currently isolated
communities currently. The idea is to provide the needs that the terrorists were assuming
and actually guarding, protecting and defending their citizens no matter the geographic
location or ethnicity. With the modern evolvement of SL into a drug trafficking funded
organization in rural areas of Peru, addressing the motivations of the original Senderistas
may not be enough. However, understanding the new forms of alternative leadership
coupled with the understanding of the majority of the Senderistas alive today is a
stepping stone in the right direction.

Archivo de los Partido Polticos en el Centro de Documentacin Especiales: Ciencias
Sociales PUCP: peridico el Diario, Lima Domingo 24 de Julio, 1988
Benavides, O. Hugo. Peru. Countries and Their Cultures. Ed. Melvin Ember and Carol
Ember. Vol. 3. New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 2001. 1755-1767. Gale Virtual
Reference Library. Web. April, 29, 2011.
Bennett, John M., and Laurence Hallewell. Sendero Luminoso in Context: An Annotated
Bibliography. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow, 1998. Print.
Biondi, Shaw J. J, and Saldaa E. E. Zapata. El Discurso De Sendero Luminoso:
Contratexto Educativo. Lima, Per: Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologa, 1989.
Bongar, Bruce M. Psychology of Terrorism. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007.
Brading, David. Obre Indiano. De la monarquia catlica a la repblica criolla. Mxico:
FCE, 1991.

Loebenstein 118

Brody, Nathan. Human Motivation: Commentary on Goal-Directed Action.

New York: Academic Press, 1983. Print.
Carrin, Julio. The Fujimori Legacy: The Rise of Electoral Authoritarianism in Peru.
University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State UP, 2006. Print.
CIA (Eua) (Org.). Peru. In: <>. Acesso em: 04 maio 2011.
Comissin de la Verdad y Reconcilacin del Per. Los actores del conflicto. In:
<>. Accessed on: May 4, 2011.
Conaghan, Catherine M. Fujimori's Peru: Deception in the Public Sphere. Pittsburgh,
PA: University of Pittsburgh, 2006. Print.
Crenshaw, Martha. "The Psychology of Terrorism: An Agenda for the 21st Century."
Political Psychology 21.2 (2000): 405-20. PsycINFO. Web. 15 Jan. 2012.
Dalton, Russell J, and Hans-Dieter Klingemann. Oxford Handbook of Political Behavior.
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007. Print.
Deci, Edward L., and Richard M. Ryan. "The "what" and "Why" of Goal Pursuits:
Human Needs and the Self-Determination of Behavior." Psychological Inquiry 11.4
(2000): 227-68. PsycINFO. Web. 15 Jan. 2012.
Degregori, Carlos Ivn. El surgimiento de sendero luminoso: Ayacucho 1969-1979. Lima:
Instituto De Estudios Peruanos, 2010.
Degregori, Carlos Ivn. "Qu difcil es ser Dios: ideologa y violencia poltica en Sendero
Luminoso." Comp. Myriam Jimeno Santoyo. Conflictos sociales y violencia: Notas para
una dicusin: 19-31. Web. 29 Nov. 2010.
Diamond, Michael. Group Psychology of Terrorism in: Ghosh, Tushar K. Science and
Technology of Terrorism and Counterterrorism. 2nd ed. Boca Raton, FL: CRC, 2009.
Figueroa, Adolfo and Barrn Manuel. Inequality, Ethnicity and Social Disorder in Peru.
Centre for Research on Inequality, Human Security and Ethnicity (CRISE), pp. 1-77,
Lima Peru, 2005.
Forment, Carlos. Democracy in Latin America, 1760-1900: Civic selfhood and public life
in Mexico and Peru. Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 2003.
Ferguson, Eva Dreikurs, and Beth Eva Ferguson. Wee. Motivation: A Biosocial and
Cognitive Integration of Motivation and Emotion. NewYork: Oxford UP, 2000. Print.

Loebenstein 119
Gorriti, Ellenbogen Gustavo. The Shining Path: A History of the Millenarian War in
Peru. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina, 1999. Print.
Gott, Richard. Guerrilla Movements in Latin America. Garden City, N.Y: Doubleday,
1971. Print.
Granados, Manuel Jess. El PCP Sendero Luminoso y su ideologa. Lima: Editorial
Eapsa, 1992.
Gunaratna, Rohan. Terrorism: a Unique Form of Political Violence in: Loucks, Nancy,
Sally Dean Smith
Holt, and Joanna R. Adler. Why We Kill: Understanding Violence across Cultures and
Disciplines. Hendon, London [England: Middlesex UP, 2009.
Harding, Colin. "Antonio Daz Martnez and the Ideology of Sendero Luminoso."
Bulletin of Latin American Research 7.1 (1998): 65-73.
Heilman, Jaymie, Patricia Family Ties: The Political Genealogy of Shining Path's
Comrade Norah. Bulletin of Latin American Research, 29 (2009): 155169.
"Informe Comisin Verdad Per: PCP-SL 1983 -1985." Derechos Human Rights. Web.
02 Dec. 2010. <>.
Iyengar, Shanto, and William J. McGuire. Explorations in Political Psychology. Durham:
Duke UP, 1993. Print.
Koppel, Martn. Peru's Shining Path: Anatomy of a Reactionary Sect. New York, NY,
U.S.A.: Pathfinder, 1993. Print.
Krueger, Alan B. What Makes a Terrorist: Economics and the Roots of Terrorism.
Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2007. Print.
Kuklinski, James H. Thinking About Political Psychology. New York: Cambridge
University Press, 2001. Print.
Laming, Donald. Understanding Human Motivation: What Makes People Tick? Malden
(Ma.): Blackwell, 2004. Print.
La Serna, Miguel. The Corner of the Living: Ayacucho on the Eve of the Shining Path
Insurgency. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2012.
Lockhart, James. El mundo hispanoperuano. 1532-1560. Mxico, FCE, 1982. Print.
Lombardi, Francisco, Gerardo Herrero, Gustavo Bueno, and Tono Vega. La Boca Del
Lobo: The Lion's Den. New York, N.Y: Cinevista Video, 1990.

Loebenstein 120
Mealy, Marissa Austad, Carol Shaw. Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path) and
Ethnocultural Conflict in Andes. Connecticut, University of Connecticut, 2010.
McClintock, Cynthia. Why Peasants Rebel: The Case of Peru's Sendero Luminoso.
Cambridge University Press World Politics , Vol. 37, No. 1 (Oct., 1984), pp. 48-84.
McCormick, Gordon H. From the Sierra to the Cities: The Urban Campaign of the
Shining Path. Santa Monica, CA: RAND, 1992. Print.
McCormick, Gordon . The Shining Path and Peruvian terrorism. Santa Monica, CA:
RAND Corporation, 1987.
McDermott, Rose. Political Psychology in International Relations. Ann Arbor: University
of Michigan Press, 2004. Print.
Moghaddam, Fathali M, and Anthony J. Marsella. Understanding Terrorism:
Psychosocial Roots, Consequences, and Interventions. Washington, DC: American
Psychological Association, 2004. Print.
Oberschall, Anthony. Explaining Terrorism: The Contribution of Collective Action
Theory. American Sociological Association. Sociological Theory , Vol. 22, No. 1,
Theories of Terrorism: A Symposium (Mar., 2004), pp. 26-37.
Ons Paco, Peter Kinoy, Pamela Yates, and Karen Duffy. State of Fear. New York, NY:
Skylight Pictures, 2005.
Petri, Herbert L. Motivation: Theory and Research. Belmont, Calif:Wadsworth Pub. Co,
1986. Print.
Palmer, David Scott. Rebellion in Rural Peru: The Origins and Evolution of Sendero
Luminoso. New York, Comparative Politics, 1986.
Palmer, David Scott. The Shining Path of Peru. New York: St. Martin's, 1992. Print.
Peralta Ruiz, Vctor. Sendero Luminoso Y La Prensa, 1980-1994: La Violencia Poltica
Peruana Y Su Representacin En Los Medios. Lima: CBC, 2000. Print.
Perry, Ellen. The Fall of Fujimori. New York, N.Y.: Stardust Pictures, 2005.
Poole, Deborah, and Gerardo Rnique. Peru: Time of Fear. London: Latin American
Bureau, 1992. Print.
Portugal, Andrea. 2006. Exploring Patterns of Political Violence: The South Central
Andes. Oxford University.
Portugal, Andrea (2008) Voices from the War: Exploring the Motivation of Sendero
Luminoso Militants, CRISE Working Paper No. 57, 4-71.

Loebenstein 121

Prescott,William Hicking. Historia de la Conquista del Peru, con observaciones

preliminares sobre la Civilizacin de los Incas. Madrid, Imprenta y Librera de Gaspar y
Roig, 1851.
Rapoport, David C. Inside Terrorist Organizations. New York: Columbia University
Press, 1988. Print.
Rogers, Paul. "Terrorism." Security Studies: an Introduction. New York, Routledge, 2008.
171-84. Print.
Roncagliolo, Santiago. La Cuarta Espada: La Historia De Abimael Guzmn Y Sendero
Luminoso. Barcelona: Debate, 2007. Print.
Schmid, Alex P, A J. Jongman, and Michael Stohl. Political Terrorism: A New Guide to
Actors, Authors, Concepts, Data Bases, Theories, and Literature. Amsterdam: NorthHolland Pub. Co, 1988. Print.
Schwartz, David C. Political Alienation and Political Behavior. Chicago: Aldine Pub. Co,
1973. Print.
Scott, John Rational Choice Theory in: Browning, Gary K., Abigail Halcli, and Frank
Webster. Understanding Contemporary Society: Theories of the Present. London: SAGE,
2000. Print.
Selbin, Eric. Revolution, Rebellion, Resistance: The Power of Story. London: Zed, 2010.
Silva, Santisteban Roco. El Factor Asco: Basurizacin Simblica Y Discursos
Autoritarios En El Per Contemporneo. Lima, Per: Fondo Editorial, Pontificia
Universidad Catlica Del Per, 2008. Print.
Smith, Allison G. "The Implicit Motives of Terrorist Groups: How the Needs for
Affiliation and Power Translate into Death and Destruction." Political Psychology 29.1
(2008): 55-75. PsycINFO. Web. 15 Jan. 2012.
Starn, Orin. "Maoism in the Andes: The Communist Party of Peru-Shining Path and the
Refusal of History." Journal of Latin American Studies, 27.2 (1995): 399-421.
Stern, Peter A., and Degregori Carlos Ivn. Sendero Luminoso: An Annotated
Bibliography of the Shining Path Guerilla Movement, 1980 - 1993. Austin, TX:
SALALM Secretariat, 1996. Print.
Stoll, David. Between Two Armies in the Ixil Towns of Guatemala. New York: Columbia
UP, 1993. Print.

Loebenstein 122
Strong, Simon. Shining Path: The World's Deadliest Revolutionary Force. Hammersmith,
London: HarperCollins Publisher, 1992. Print.
Strong, Simon. Shining Path: Terror and Revolution in Peru. New York: Times Books,
1992. Print.
Tapia, Carlos. Las Fuerzas Armadas y Sendero Luminoso: Dos estrategias y un final.
Lima: Instituto De Estudios Peruanos, 1997.
Taylor, Lewis. "Counter-Insurgency Strategy, the PCP-Sendero Luminoso and the Civil
War in Peru, 1980-1996." Bulletin of Latin American Research 17.1 (1998): 35-58.
Taylor, Lewis. Maoism in the Andes: Sendero Luminoso and the Contemporary Guerrilla
Movement in Peru. Liverpool: Centre for Latin American Studies, University of
Liverpool, 1983.
Tulchin, Joseph S., and Gary Bland. Peru in Crisis: Dictatorship or Democracy?
Boulder, CO: L. Rienner, 1994. Print.
Vernon, M D. Human Motivation. London: Cambridge U.P, 1969. Print.
Victoroff, Jeff. The Mind of the Terrorist: A Review and Critique of Psychological
Approaches. Eds. Jeff Victoroff and Arie W. Kruglanski. New York, NY, US: Psychology
Press, 2009. PsycINFO. Web. 15 Jan. 2012.
Vidal Vallejo, Jos Antonio. La verdad sobre Sendero luminoso. 1997.
Veno Garca, Raul, ed. Juicio a Abimael: Sendero, ideologa y realidad. Lima: Agenda
2000 Editores.
Weiner, Bernard. Cognitive Views of Human Motivation. New York:Academic Press,
1974. Print.
Zimbardo, Philip G. The Cognitive Control of Motivation: The Consequences of Choice
and Dissonance. Glenview, Ill.: Scott, Foresman, 1969. Print.