Number of People with Nothing Better to Do

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Sendero Luminoso

We watched a documentary on the Shining Path yesterday which gave the low down on the 20 years of hell that the Peruvian people went through during their terrorist reign. The Shining Path was started by a guy by the name of Dr. Guzman in the Department of Ayacucho up in the sierra. It started out as a blend of communism and Marxism in the early eighties and recruited poor, disenfranchised folks up in the hills mostly by intimidation, torture, rape, things like that.

After the Peruvian government started using the military to crack down on the Shining Path, they fought back with terrorist tactics; car bombs, shootings, and whatnot. Both sides stepped up the violence. In 1990, Fujimori was elected, promptly dissolved the congress, and kicked up the war on terror a bit. Eventually, the police chief at the time used good old fashion police work and captured Dr. Guzman, effectively cutting off the head of the terrorist organization. Without Guzman’s leadership, the Shining Path kind of fell apart. Turns out you can win a war on terror if it’s done right.

After, it came out that Fujimori’s head military guy and his military killed a ton of innocent folks and paid off the TV stations to bury the story which is what recently landed Fujimori in the clink (he’s still immensely popular around here and built the school, institute, roads and street lights in my little community. His daughter is leading in the polls for the upcoming presidential election).

The Shining Path is still around but has abandoned its communist roots and adopted a more capitalistic approach by operating coca plantations in the jungle and distributing its Peruvian marching powder to the quivering nostrils in stock brokerage houses throughout the US. Since the US has helped with crack down of the cocaine production and distribution in Colombia, the New York Times reports that Peru is set up to be the number one producer/exporter of cocaine by next year.

I’m not sure how they’ll celebrate and I have no idea what to bring to the party. Deviled eggs?

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