‘Chairman Gonzalo’ Dies in Peruvian Prison


Gabriel Davidson, Reporter

Relatively unknown to the world outside Peru, Abimael Guzmán, better known by his nom de guerre Chairman Gonzalo, died recently on 9/11. The leader of The Shining Path, or the Peruvian Communist Party, Guzmán was feared by many and worshipped by some through a cult of personality he perpetuated. Guzmán fought a guerilla war in Peru in the name of ‘Marxism-Leninism-Maoism,’ a far-detached derivative of Marxism synthesized by Guzmán himself. The guerilla leader has been accused of suppressing the indigenous and LGBT people of Peru, among other claims that leave him, at best polarizing, and at worse infamous.

Despite carrying out his ‘revolution’ only in Peru, Guzmán’s influence on modern communist guerillas is undeniable. The United States, for example, had a collective operating under Guzmán’s ideological line beginning in 2015, who referred to themselves as the Red Guards. The Red Guards have since reconstituted to focus on turning the Communist Party USA towards Guzmán’s Marxism-Leninism-Maoism and away from ‘revisionist socialist ideology.’ Guzmán’s influence has also spread to communist organizations in India, Manipur, Nepal, and the Philippines.

Guzmán was captured in 1992, conclusively sentenced to two terms of life imprisonment after multiple trials, one of which ended in total chaos, while others were subject to media blackout. The Shining Path and its former chairman’s activities have been regarded as terrorist by Peru, Japan, the United States, the European Union, and Canada. On a day mourned by Americans for the September 11th Attacks and by Chilean socialists for the brutal coup of Salvador Allende, the first Marxist ever elected to presidency in Latin America, the people of Peru mourn the loss of lives caused by a self-proclaimed successor to Lenin and Mao, one who lacked the popular support of Allende and did not reject, but embraced, excesses of revolution and engaged in terror against innocents, much like the perpetrators of 9/11.