Peru marks 28 years of terrorist leader's capture

Photo: AFP

Photo: AFP

12:17 | Lima, Sep. 12.

Today, September 12, Peruvians commemorate 28 years of the capture of the most wanted terrorist in Peru, Abimael Guzman, leader of the once-deadly Maoist-inspired terrorist organization Shining Path.

Abimael Guzman was captured on September 12, 1992, marking the defeat of Shining Path —the most bloodthirsty and cruel terrorist group the South American country has ever seen.

National Police Special Intelligence Group (GEIN) found the place where he and other Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso or SL) leaders were hiding, by following SL Coordinator Luis Arana Sotil, after he met Carlos Inchaustegui, one of the house's guards.

The dwelling in Lima's Surquillo district and its inhabitants —Inchaustegui and Maritza Garrido-Lecca— were surveilled for months by police officers dressed as street vendors and sweepers.

The quantity of food purchased by the couple, the clothes in extra-large sizes, the medicine used to treat psoriasis (ailment Guzman was diagnosed with) and SL-related notes found in the garbage caught the attention of the police.

On September 11, the day before Guzman's capture, officers saw the silhouette of a fat bearded man inside the house. He was lighting a candle during one of the blackouts common in the city at that time.

The police raided the house the next day at 8:40 PM (local time). Two undercover agents disguised as boyfriend and girlfriend got inside the place as soon as Maritza Garrido-Lecca opened the door to say goodbye to their guests.

Guzman was on the second floor, along with SL second in command Elena Iparraguirre —also known as Comrade Miriam— Laura Zambrano and Maria Pantoja.

"There he was. The man was sitting and waiting for us. He knew he had lost," affirmed Luis Flores Soli, one of GEIN members who participated in the successful capture.

The Inca nation's dark 1980-2000 terrorism episode is estimated to have claimed over 69,000 lives, according to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC)


Much of said fatalities are attributed to Shining Path, responsible for brutal terror attacks such as the Tarata Bombing, as well as massive assassinations in rural Peru. 


Published: 9/12/2020