Andina

Peru: The last 72 hours of Abimael Guzman

Un recuento a 25 años de la captura de Abimael Guzmán

14:25 | Lima, Sep. 11.

Peru's most wanted terrorist, Abimael Guzman, was captured on September 12th, 1992, marking the defeat of Shining Path —the most bloodthirsty and cruel terrorist group the 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 11th, 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. 

(END) FHG/CVC/CCR/RMB/MVB

Published: 9/11/2017
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