Maoist movement in Peru dedicated to violent revolution. It was founded in 1970 by a philosophy professor, Abimael Guzmán Reynoso (b. 1934), as a result of a split in the Peruvian Communist Party. The senderistas began their campaign among the impoverished Indians of the high Andes, attracting sympathizers by their emphasis on the empowerment of Indians at the expense of Peru's traditional elite. They gained control of large areas of Peru through violence and intimidation. By 1992, when Guzmán was captured and their influence began to wane, they had caused an estimated 25,000 deaths and seriously disrupted the Peruvian economy. Their new leader, Oscar Ramirez Durand, was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1999.
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