- Published: October 30, 2021
- Updated: October 30, 2021
- University / College: University of Florida
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Insurgence is defined as the armed rebellion towards a constituted authority. The people who practice insurgence use terrorism while others use the guerrilla warfare as an instrument to fight. There have been some cases where some countries such as Philippines that practised insurgence which was not violent. There are different types of insurgence that is practiced by different countries especially when there is violence. The main purpose for the insurgence is in countries that have problems in religion, ethnic, political and economic. The other instances are when a particular group or people in a country are dissatisfied with theruling power. There are many countries that are have practised insurgence and a good example is Peru. Peru used the instrument of guerrilla warfare to fight. This action caused the destruction of so many properties as well as caused many casualties (Polk).
This insurgence occurred from 1981 to 1992. The main cause for this insurgence was because of the difference in political ideologies. There is evidence that the insurgent movement battles in Peru occurred twice. It is a fact that the type of insurgence that was used in Peru was the type 1 or local insurgence. The insurgency was at the first stage when it lost the war in 1992. It had garnered followers that caused the formation of other small groups such as MRTA. The insurgency began in the 1980s when the people of Ayacucho were dissatisfied with the treatment they got from the government. This shows how they rebelled against the government and followed Sendero regimes.
In Peru, two insurgents movement was formed and had garnered many followers in the 1980s. The insurgent movements are the Tupac Amara revolutionary movement or (MRTA) and the Sendero Luminoso or the shining path. The Sendero Luminoso insurgence was formed in rural Peru at the department of Ayacucho. The insurgency began in May 1980 when a group of individuals in the town of Chuschi at the provincial Ayacucho market on the eve of elections they burnt down the ballots. This shows that this group used the guerrilla style of warfare. The guerrilla style of fighting was used in the early 1960s but it was not as effective as in the insurgence of 1980s. This insurgence brought about widespread of violence in Peru that combined both the common criminals and the guerrilla organizations. There are many reasons that caused the insurgence to have success in Peru such as the groups that started the insurgence were well prepared and organized before the war. The groups the number of people who joined the group grew and thus expanded in numbers (Huston). The meetings for the members were held in a densely populated area, which is the Ayacucho.
The individuals had a single leader who led them and he was Abimael Guzman Reynoso. He was well known to be very persuasive in that he was able to attract many followers and the other reason is that he was strong and wise that caused him to be admired and respected. He was also the professor of the university therefore; he was able to influence the students to join his cause. The other significant reason that caused the insurgence to have success was that the government took its sweet time to react the threat of insurgence by the terrorist groups. The poor economy was also a factor that made the insurgence be strong because the government was not concentrating on them but rather on how to boost the economy. The Sendero Luminoso took advantage of this fact and moved to the upper Huallaga valley where they were able to do the drug trafficking business, which was doing really that they were able to strengthen the insurgent group by paying for their wages.
There are many reasons that led to the insurgences in Peru such as uneven distribution of wealth and land in the country. This is due to the fact that the country was divided into departments. In these departments, the country was divided into two groups in that one was wealthy while the other part was poor and not modernised. The wealthy section in Peru is the department of Lima where it is completely modernised while the poor department is Ayacucho where one of the insurgent group movement prevails. The economy of the country was not doing well, the citizens of Peru were becoming poorer, and the government had to look for loans from other countries (Huston).
This also paved way for the insurgent groups to do their dirty work without interference from the government. There was the uneven distribution of land especially in the department of Ayacucho. This caused many people to rebel against the government and thus joined the insurgence groups. When the government stopped the rural development programs, many people became peasants. This led to the increment of people in area where the land is not suitable for any form of agriculture. The politicians and the government gave empty promises to the people of providing them better lands that the ones they were in that contained rocks and was dry. The department of Ayacucho was so poor to the point that it was considered a fourth world region in a country that was known to be a third world country. This angered the people and thus lost trust on the government. This made it easier for the people to rebel against the government. This made easy for the leaders of the insurgence to recruit followers into their campaign of what they called justice.
Challenges of insurgence in Peru
The insurgence groups used a lot of violence and torture that goes against human rights. This caused them to lose some of their supporters for they were now considered terrorists. In the manifesto for the insurgence, the peasant’s situation was one of the core issues. This caused the peasants whose only aim of joining the insurgence was to get land were disappointed and began to mistrust the movement. The insurgent movement groups are mostly situated in the rural areas in Peru thus most of the followers come from that side of department (Huston). The issue of manpower become a problem for Sendero because most of the young men in that area were running away for fear of being recruited in the movement. The young men were also moving to the urban areas so that they can get better future by finding good jobs.
The goals and objectives for the insurgent movements in Peru
The insurgent group movements were first created due to the oppression and poor economy that was being experienced in the rural areas in Peru such as the Ayacucho department. There were various goals and objectives that the insurgent were fighting for in fields such as economy, political, military and social. The political goal for the insurgent groups was to ensure that there is recruitment of people before a party is formed. This is to ensure that the people are fully informed and have idea of whether the people in that party are qualified to be their leaders. They also wanted to have their existence in the urban areas to ensure equal distribution of security. The insurgence also wanted the military to use the guerrilla warfare in all parts of Peru to ensure that the security forces are spread out evenly. The economy of the country in the 1980s was extremely bad therefore, their main goal was to rectify the current economical status and change it for the better with the emphasis of using barter trade. Their goal in the social sector was to unite the people living in the urban areas especially the slams and get their support and following.
In 1980 when the insurgence was, beginning President Fernando Belaunde was being elected into office. In these elections, many people in the country had the freedom to vote without being intimidated. This was considered one of the most democratic situations to occur in a long time. When he took over power the country was experiencing the worst economic life in accordance to history. The presidents promise to provide many jobs for the citizens were met with many challenges because there were severe droughts for a period of three years in the north and the south. The world economy was also not doing well therefore; the international business was doing badly.
The El Nino that occurred in 1983 destroyed people’s houses, roads, oil industry and crops. The fishing industry was also severely affected. This made the country experience one of the worst economies in history. Many people in the country were not happy therefore they joined the insurgent movements to find ways to have better government that will give them good futures. The biggest blow to the Belaunde’s government was that of the rise of the insurgent movements that terrorised the nation. The increment of the insurgent’s group terror on the nation caused the president and the government to make affirmative action’s that will curb the terrorist from recruiting more people and to stop them from continuing with the war (Huston).
Goals and objectives of the government
The government’s main objective and goal was to stop the insurgence from progressing and to stop the recruitment of the members. This brought about counter insurgent plans that will help cub the situation to a minimum.
The counter insurgency
This action is undertaken by the government to curb or sop the insurgency. This action is taken because the government sees the insurgence as a threat to the country because they are opposed and the insurgence uses the instrument of terrorism. The goal of the action was also to weaken the leaders of the insurgence therefore making it easier for people to defect the movements and thus they will be able to capture the leaders and detain them. The counter insurgence used the tactics of disarming the insurgence and they used the divide and rule, which ensured that the citizens were not in contact with the insurgency groups. In Peru, the government’s plan to counter insurgency was to form a reform in the laws, which was passed by the legislature. The reform stated that any individual who is was convicted for participation in terrorism would be sentenced to a period of 25 years (Cassidy).
The fine that would be enforced to a fine of 8000 dollars. The police had the right to detain a suspect for 15 days without taking them to court. According to the laws, the term terrorist was broad to the point that the police arrested anyone that was considered to cause fear to the public, endanger the lives the citizens, when anyone has firearms illegally, and incite the population while using the media, when an individual destroys the property of others and supporting the insurgent groups. In the department of Ayacucho, the government deployed sinchis 1500 battalions who were o fight the insurgency. In 1981, the government issued a state of emergency in Ayacucho. This was due to the persistent attacks from Sendero. As the attacks from Sendero increased the police officers from Ayacucho were constantly being targeted therefore, they became scared and ran away from the department and went to the urban areas. This caused the insurgent leader more powerful (Cassidy). This caused the sinchis to be very alert and became brutal with the citizens of Ayacucho.
According to the book of violent politics by William Polk it shows that the reasons that causes the government military not to succeed in stopping the insurgents or terrorist is because the people view them as intruders. This causes a lot of conflict between the community and the military thus enhancing the brutality that is seen as inhuman by the human rights. In Peru, the people of Ayacucho found the military action to curb the insurgence as a bother and not a way for them to be helped. This made Sendero to be very powerful because he got the backup from the people. This brought about attacks from both sides that led to the destruction of the innocent people’s lands and their lives. This book also explains what causes the insurgencies to begin succeed and persists in different countries in the world.
In Peru, there were many reasons that caused the insurgent to begin such as uneven distribution of resources and land. The increment of numbers peasants in the rural areas, unemployment, and the rise of insecurity in the rural areas in which the government only concentrated on the urban areas. The insurgent in Peru was able to grow and succeed for long because of the support and following it got from the local people who had their own grievances. In the book, the author shows that many people used the guerrilla style of warfare in countries such as when the American wanted to revolution Iraq (Polk). The insurgence of Peru used the guerrilla style of warfare so that they can make as much damage as possible.
The book also shows that other countries also have a hand in the terrorism of some other countries. They show their support by providing the terrorist group with the financial aids. The insurgence of Peru got financial aid from some other countries. This enabled them to acquire weapons that were used to create havoc in Peru. This is one of the main things that caused the government to have a hard time to capture the perpetrators because they were met with violence. The book provides the various insurgencies that existed in history thus enable one to know the different types of insurgents that exist. The types of insurgents in this book clearly show the type of insurgent that was practised in Peru, which is the type one local insurgent. The war was local because the problems that brought about this insurgent were caused internally between the government and the local people. The movement was also able to sell drugs illegally and thus got funds, which was used to strengthen the insurgent.
In conclusion, the insurgency is a terrorist way of giving their grievances about the government’s way of ruling. This is very destructive especially in Peru where over 25,000 people lost their lives and millions of dollars worth of goods and buildings were destroyed. In the book of violent politics it shows that there are various types of insurgence and has different stages of occurrence. The type of insurgence that existed in Peru was the type 1 or local insurgence where the problems existed between the government and the local peoples. There are many reasons that caused the insurgence in Peru such as unemployment, uneven distribution of wealth, security and resources. The number of peasant had also increased tremendously by 1980 thus many people were dissatisfied with the government thus were easily recruited by Sendero. The government started counter urgencies, which was to curb the situation from continuing any further. This action was met with many challenges because the Sendero movement had grown in numbers before the government reacted. The movement had acquired firearms and followers thus, it was not easy for the government to pinpoint exactly where the insurgency leaders were situated.
Cassidy, Robert M. Counterinsurgency and the Global War on Terror: Military Culture and Irregular War. Stanford : Stanford University Press, 2008.
Huston, James V. Insurgency In Peru: The Shining Path. Quantico, Virginia : Marine Corps Command and Staff College, 1988.
Peru Guerrillas Insurgency, 1980-92 . The Library of Congress Country Studies, 2004.
Polk, William. Violent Politics. HarperCollins Publishers, 2007.
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