Peru Govt Seeks to Block Shining Path Party from Politics

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    Weeks after the Shining Path guerrilla organization called for peace talks with the government, the justice minister has declared that those promoting terrorist groups will not be allowed to enter politics.

    This announcement comes as the Movement for Amnesty and Fundamental Rights (known by its Spanish acronym Movadef) files for political party status. The organization is linked to the Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso) guerrilla group.

    Justice Minister Juan Jimenez urged that the panel not approve the group’s application, reports La Republica, declaring, “We will not permit political organizations which correspond to armed groups that … have not shown remorse with respect to the wrongdoings and crimes they have committed, to enter politics and destroy it.”

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    In December, one of the remaining factions of the Shining Path publicly offered to begin peace talks with the government. The government has not accepted the proposal, and the guerrilla leader said that the authorities had rejected two previous attempts to make contact.

    This move to prevent Movadef from becoming a legal political party indicates that the government is unlikely to offer political concessions to the Shining Path in order to demobilize the group.

    In neighboring Colombia, in contrast, President Juan Manuel Santos has been trying to push through legislation to allow demobilized members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) to take part in politics. An attempt in the 1980s to bring the rebels into the political system by launching a FARC-linked political party, however, ended in the murder of thousands of members, and the dissolution of the party.

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