Shining Path leader rejects terrorist label in Peru trial

[JURIST] Abimael Guzman [MIPT profile], founder of Peru's Shining Path [BBC backgrounder] guerilla movement, told a Peruvian court Monday that he is not a terrorist, and instead labeled himself a "revolutionary combatant." Guzman is facing a retrial [JURIST report] on charges that he led a campaign of assassinations and massacres in the 1980s and early 1990s as part of Shining Path's efforts to overthrow Peru's government and install a communist state. The rebellion left almost 70,000 people dead, and Guzman received a life sentence in Peru's military court system after being captured in 1992. The military verdict was ruled unconstitutional two years ago, and Guzman is now facing civil terrorism charges. Guzman's retrial began last year, but ended 10 days after it started when two of the three judges stepped down because of complaints they were involved in previous rebel trials. Guzman has said that after the trial is completed, he will take his case [BBC report] to the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights [official website] in an effort to discredit Peru's judicial system [Justice Ministry website, in Spanish]. AP has more.

 

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