This week’s lecture was based of Peru’s Civil War of 1980S. It discusses the failed land reform and the state’s abandonment.
Almost 70,000 people had died during Peru’s Civil war all due to internal conflict between the Peruvian Army and guerrilla fighters. Most of the people that had died were just ordinary civilians. This war was actually considered one of the most ‘bloody’ Peruvian wars in history since their colonization by Europe and is considered the second longest war in Latin America- Colombia’s armed conflict war is the first.
I found this week’s readings and lecture’s extremely thought-provoking. The first video I had looked at had been done by students explaining briefly what the war had been about: – the introduction of an Agrarian reform which was based on giving authority to the indigenous people. From 1968 general Juan Velasco ruled as president of the revolutionary arm. He served a form of justice to the poor that the indigenous people had been exposed to and reverse the practices of abandonment. He introduced a series of policies such an Agrarian reform policy which was based on giving rights to the less fortunate. He gained a lot of support from the public because of years of being mistreated thus they had been desperate for a change. I found it interesting how he was also referred to “Dr Shampoo” because of his ability to brainwash his listeners.
Another video I had watched was on Max Cameron’s look at Peru’s civil war: he explains the attempts of reform and change. He explains how this was a period of state building and political struggles for land and peasantry and abandonment. He also says that it was one of the most difficult times in Peru where there was tons of instability. He explains the shining path: in which the land reform eliminated a critical component of the social structure. He explained the ways in which Peru was structured with Gamonales who were land owner’s, and basically the rulers of Peru at the time, he also explained another important group of people who were the educated- this consisted of people like doctors and lawyers.
Taking this course has made me realize so much about Latin America that I previously had no idea of. I learned about the Sendero’s War- and how they were a military communist group with a stated goal of replacing the bourgeois democracy with a “new democracy” as well as to establish a complete dictatorship so that they could spur a world revolution.
My question for the class this week is: how was the “Shining path” able to exist in Peru for so long and could this civil war be considered a mini cold war?