LIMA, Peru -- Abimael Guzmán, the leader of the brutal Shining Path insurgency in Peru who was captured in 1992, died on Saturday in a military hospital after an illness. He was 86.
Guzmán died at 6:40 a.m. after suffering from an infection, Justice Minister Aníbal Torres said.
Guzmán, a former philosophy professor, launched an insurgency against the state in 1980 and presided over numerous car bombings and assassinations in the years that followed. Guzmán was captured in 1992 and sentenced to life in prison for terrorism and other crimes.
President Pedro Castillo tweeted that Guzmán was responsible for taking ‘’countless'' lives.
“Our position condemning terrorism is firm and unwavering. Only in democracy will we build a Peru of justice and development for our people,” Castillo said.
Even so, Castillo has faced criticism over alleged links of some of his Cabinet ministers to the Shining Path. Primer Minister Guido Bellido has been investigated by authorities over his alleged sympathy for the group. Last week, a media outlet made public police records from the 1980s that describe Labor Minister Iber Maraví as a Shining Path member and a fugitive.