Shining Path Founder Faces New Trial for Tarata Bombing

Guzman Abimael -2014Twenty-two years after the event, Shining Path founder Abimael Guzman faced charges Monday in a Navy Base courtroom in Callao, for the Tarata bomb attack in Lima’s upper middle-class district of Miraflores.   The second national criminal court is presided by Justice Mercedes Caballero.

Also accused with Guzman are his wife, Elena Iparraguirre, as well as Osmán Morote, Óscar Ramírez Durand, Florentino Cerrón Cardoso, Edmundo Cox Beuzeville, Laura Zambrano, Elizabeth Cárdenas, Margie Clavo Peralta, Margot Liendo Gil,   and Moisés Límaco Huayascachi.

In early July 1992, two vehicles, each carrying 250 kilos of explosives, exploded just after 9pm in the narrow one-block street of Tarata, just steps away from hotels, shops and residential apartments. The toll was 25 people killed and 150 wounded, plus damage to over 180 residential homes and apartments, some 400 businesses and 60 parked cars.   

Following twelve years of Shining Path attacks in the Andean highlands, the rebels had begun to focus more attacks on the capital, and the Tarata bombing was part of a week-long spate of attacks in the city that caused a total of 40 deaths.  The Tarata attack was the first to be made in the evening when crowds of people would still be shopping —earlier attacks had always been late at night or just before dawn, damaging private businesses and government institutions but rarely killing passersby.

Guzman, with Iparraguirre and Zambrano, was captured two months after the Tarata attack, on Sept. 12, hiding in a residential area of Lima.  A small police intelligence team had come close to arresting Guzman on two earlier occasions, despite budget cuts and institutional obstacles, and had traced Guzman this time to a private home that served on the ground floor as a modern dance school.

Guzman and Iparraguirre are among the prisoners serving earlier sentences at the Navy’s maximum security facilities in Callao, but some of the accused are being transported to the Base for the hearings.

Congressman Yehudi Simon, leader of the Humanist Party who served as Premier during Alan Garcia’s administration, believes this trial is of no benefit to the country.

“It makes no sense. There’s no reason for it because he has been convicted to life imprisonment.  I don’t understand why we constantly bring up these issues, which make the population recall painful images and also give space to the terrorists to make statements to the press,” Simon said.




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One Comment

  1. Why? Because leftist Sendero sympathizers always exist, and are always looking for a “way out” for their communist heroes. One more reason for the return of the Death Penalty for convicted Terrorist murderers after their Appeals run out. Can’t retry a dead man….looking for ‘excuses’ for his barbarous actions.

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