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Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso) is a communist guerrilla group founded in Ayacucho, Peru; in 1980, it began a terrorist campaign that almost brought down the government of Peru.

Shining Path takes its name from Peruvian Marxist leader Jose Carlos Mariatigua, who once stated, “Marxism-Leninism will open the shining path to revolution.” The group's ideology, however, is Maoist. (Marxism and Leninism posit that society must develop a group of urban, industrialized, class-conscious workers, the proletariat, before a communist revolution can be successful. Maoism, named for Chinese communist leader Mao Tse-tung, holds that an agrarian, preindustrial society can be transformed directly into a communist one by indoctrinating the peasantry and using them to spur revolution.) Inspired by China's Cultural Revolution, the group sought to destroy Peru's government and cultural institutions and create a perfect communist society that would be led by a peasant dictatorship. Like the Khmer Rouge ...

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