February 15, 1992: Assassination of Peruvian women’s rights leader

On February 15, 1992 the Sendero Luminoso assassinated Maria Elena Moyano, an Afro-Peruvian local activist and women’s rights campaigner

VILLA EL SALVADOR, PERU – It never ceases to amaze us how often groups that claim to be ‘fighting for the people’ kill the very ones they are allegedly supporting.

Has there ever been a worse idea than Marxist-Leninism? Some may argue that capitalism is more evil but I will leave that argument aside. It’s just that a theory that proponents struggle and campaign for the rights of workers and the poor rarely meets that standard.

What about the Holodomor, the mass state-driven starvation of millions of peasant Ukrainians in the early 1930s under Stalin all in the name of establishing a worker’s ‘paradise’? How utopian is wasting away because the government stole your food?

Um, could this worker get a meal from the Party, please? (Photo: Andrew J.Swan flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Throughout history, and even into today, terrorist groups which have embraced the mantle of Marxist-Leninism have killed untold numbers of people. Sure, some may have been the enemies of the common person but far too many have been those for whom these bozos pretend to be acting.

On this day in 1992

The Sendero Luminoso (‘Shining Path’), a Peruvian Marxist terrorist group, assassinated Maria Elena Moyano, an Afro-Peruvian local activist and women’s rights campaigner in the town of Villa El Salvador. She was shot dead in front of her children at a communal event by the terrorists who proceeded to blow up her body with explosives. She had acquired the nickname ‘Madre Coraje’ (‘Mother Courage’).

I’ve already lived the most beautiful years of my life.

From a poem written by Moyano a month before her assassination

An estimated 300,000 people attended the funeral of María Elena Moyano and her brutal murder has been called a major step in the drop in support for the group. Good! We need less action by the ‘heroes of the people‘.

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By Phil Gurski

Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd. Phil is a 32-year veteran of CSE and CSIS and the author of six books on terrorism.

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