What is Shining Path?
Shining Path is the name of a communist political organization in Peru, whose ideology is based on various tendencies of Marxist, Leninist and Maoist thought.
Shining Path is characterized by committing guerrilla and violent acts and, in some countries, it is considered a terrorist organization.
Origin of Shining Path
The Shining Path organization was founded by Abimael Guzmán, approximately, at the end of the sixties, as a political party that separated from the Communist Party of Peru (PCP) that, later, would split into the Peruvian Communist Party, from which emerged Luminous trail.
The name of Sendero Luminous came from a phrase by José Carlos Mariátegui, founder of the Peruvian Communist Party, in which he stated that through Marxism-Leninism, the luminous path that would lead to the revolution in Peru was opened.
Shining Path Goals
The objective of Sendero Luminous, in principle, when it was conceived, was to carry out the revolution through armed struggle and position the countryside as the most important thing and the city as the complementary thing.
Also, another of its goals was to replace the institutions or entities considered bourgeois by other organizations that were representatives of the revolution in the countryside, something very similar to what Mao did in China.
Learn more about What is a Revolution?
Shining Path Ideology
The political guidelines of Sendero Luminous are based on the political positions proposed by Marx, Lenin and Mao, which expose the various guidelines that characterize communism and socialism as the best political, philosophical, economic and moral tendency to put into practice.
From Marxism, Shining Path adopted the position that the peasants and all those who live in rural areas and the proletariat are the ones who must fight against those they considered capitalists, exploiters, and even against the State.
From the Leninist position, as a model of Russian communism, the members of the organization took the idea of imposing, through force and arms, their power over all people and in all possible spaces that were under their control.
From Maoist thought, the organization adopted the idea that the main actors of the revolution and changes that they have wanted to impose in Peru must be carried out by the peasant population and the proletariat through violent acts, which they consider inevitable.
You may also like:
Shining Path and Terrorism
Shining Path is considered in many countries as a terrorist organization due to the criminal acts that its members have planned and committed, and in which thousands of people have died.
However, Shining Path is a political organization that is still active even though it no longer has the support of previous years, precisely because the peasant and proletariat people do not fully approve of violence as a means to carry out the proposed plans.
The last attack recorded by Sendero Luminoso in Peru was on April 9, 2016, when members of the organization attacked a military patrol that was guarding the electoral polls, which would be used the next day during the presidential elections, leaving a balance of ten fatalities.
Learn more about What is Terrorism?