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The leader and founder of the Peruvian Shining Path rebel group dies in prison

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A group of Maoist rebels, the Shining Road was active in the 1980s and 1990s, spreading terror in the country through a bombing campaign targeting buildings and infrastructure such as electricity towers.

Its importance began to wane after Guzman, known as Camarada Gonzalo, was arrested and sentenced to life in prison in 1992.

“At around 6:40 a.m. at the El Callao Naval Base’s maximum security center, prisoner Abimael Guzman Reynoso died due to complications with his health,” the Prisons Institute said in a brief statement.

El Callao Naval Base is about 15 kilometers east of Peru’s capital, Lima.

Under Guzman, the group declared war on the Peruvian government in 1980, carrying out bombings and assassination operations, which according to official estimates killed more than 30,000 Peruvians over the next 20 years.

Another 30,000 Peruvians died at the hands of government and paramilitary groups in the fight against the group, a government commission said in 2003.

The group also carried out a number of devastating attacks in Lima. He blew up power transmission towers, causing power outages across the city, bombing factories and planting explosives near government offices and inside the ruling party’s political headquarters.

Peruvian Bright Street rebel group kills 16 ahead of presidential election, military says

The 1992 attack on Tarata, a residential street in Lima, killed at least 25 people and was the group’s deadliest attack.

In the villages of central and southern Peru, where the rebels were strongest, the Bright Road waged a campaign of assassinations against government officials, heads of state farm collectives, business owners, and even peasants who opposed the guerrillas. Political rivals, including other Marxists or leftists, were also targeted by the group.

Peruvian authorities said in May this year that members of the group were responsible for the killing of 16 people in a region southeast of the capital. The attack took place ahead of the June presidential election, which was won by Pedro Castillo.

CNN’s Hannah Ryan contributed to this article.

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