Peru says body of Shining Path leader to be cremated

FILE - In this Sept. 1992 file photo, Abimael Guzman, the founder and leader of the Shining Path guerrilla movement, shouts inside of a jail cell after being captured in Lima, Peru. The Peruvian government reported Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021, that Guzman died after an illness. (AP File Photo) (Str, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

LIMA – The Peruvian prosecutor’s office on Thursday ordered the cremation of the body of Abimael Guzmán, the leader of the brutal Shining Path insurgency who died Sept. 11 in a military jail.

Authorities will collect Guzmán’s remains, which remain in a morgue in the port of El Callao, for cremation within 24 hours, in line with the law, prosecutors said in a statement. His ashes will be scattered at an undisclosed date and place.

After Guzmán’s death, the Peruvian Congress passed a law requiring the bodies of those convicted of terrorism to be cremated by authorities within 24 hours of their deaths and forbidding the handover of the bodies to their families.

Guzmán’s wife, Elena Iparraguirre, also sentenced to life imprisonment, had asked for the remains of her husband to be given to her, but authorities denied that request.

Guzmán, 86, died in a military hospital after an illness. The 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.