Abimael Guzmán, former leader and founder of the infamous guerrilla movement Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso) which has left some 69,000 people dead, has died Saturday in prison. He was 86.
Guzmán was serving a life sentence for terrorism at the Callao Naval Base. The exact cause of his death has not been disclosed, although he had shown some health issues in recent weeks, for which he was treated in the maximum security prison where he was placed.
The guerrilla leader had refused to be transferred to a health center, after going on a hunger strike.
Health Minister Hernando Cevallos told the media that no one wants the death of anyone regardless of how many crimes he had committed.
Shining Path has been identified by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (CVR) as accountable for the death of some 69,000 people in Peru as a result of terrorist violence between 1980 and 2000.
In recent years, various political arms of Sendero promoted the idea of a pardon and release of Guzmán and the Senderista leaders sentenced in pursuit of reconciliation, but the issue was not welcomed by public opinion or political sectors.
Peru's President Pedro Castillo Terrones was clear about it on social media He condemned terrorism in a “firm and unwavering” fashion.
The terrorist leader Abimael Guzmán, responsible for the loss of countless lives of our compatriots, has passed away. Our position condemning terrorism is firm and unwavering. Only in democracy will we build a Peru of justice and development for our people, Castillo wrote on Twitter.