Its no small irony that Abimael Guzmánthe Maoist revolutionary who founded the Peruvian terrorist organization Shining Path some 50 years ago and died on Sept. 11lived just long enough to see a Marxist-Leninist, Pedro Castillo, assume Perus presidency.
Although Guzmán and most Shining Path members gave up armed terror after his capture in 1992, his acolytesrepresented today in both Mr. Castillos cabinet and the Peruvian Congressnever gave up their quest for power. Mr. Castillo is pushing for a new constitution that would concentrate political and economic power in the government and has appointed a prime minister who is a longtime Shining Path sympathizermoves that already are undermining social cohesion and confidence in the economy and are likely to affect private investment. Its not encouraging.
In 1989 and 1990, as a young activist in my fathers presidential campaign, I accompanied him to the funerals of some of the more than 100 members of his Freedom Movement party, most of whom were poor, who had been killed by Shining Path.