Shining Path leader jailed for life

Abimael Guzman, Peru's Shining Path leader, has been sentenced to life in prison after a year-long retrial.

    Guzman is blamed for 31,300 deaths in Peru

    The rebel Maoist leader, who led a war to try to impose communism from 1980 until his capture in 1992, was convicted on terrorism charges on Saturday. 
     

    The 71-year-old Maoist, who is blamed for 31,300 deaths in Peru, sat motionless as he received his sentence in the heavily guarded naval base north of Lima.

       

    Dozens of survivors of Shining Path attacks chanted "murderer" outside the naval base and called for judges to give the former philosophy professor life in prison.

     

    Appeal

       

    Manuel Fajardo, Guzman's lawyer, said he would appeal against the ruling, which followed a seven-hour court session.

       

    Guzman waged a popular war from 1980 to 1992, inspired by China's communist leader Mao Zedong, offering dignity to millions of Andean peasants.

     

    Guzman (L) called for his
    supporters to kill

      

    But his calls for followers to first cross a "river of blood" and kill 10 per cent of the population ultimately alienated supporters and deeply scarred Peru.

       

    In court, Guzman was accused of massacres such as that of 69 people, including 22 children, in an Andean village in 1983.

        

    Under then-President Alberto Fujimori's anti-terror laws, the court also sentenced Elena Iparraguirre, Guzman's longtime lover, to life imprisonment.

       

    Another 10 members of Shining Path's leadership received sentences of between 24 and 35 years in prison.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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