Paloma de Papel (2003) 




Director:   Fabrizio Aquilar. 

Cast:    Antonio Callirgos (Juan), Eduardo Cesti (Viejo), Aristteles Picho (Fermin), Liliana Trujillo (Domitila), Sergio Galliani (Wilmer), Melania Urbina (Yeni), Tatiana Astengo (Carmen), Jess Carbajal (Modesto), Angel Josue Rojas Huaranga (Pacho), Anas Padilla (Rosita), Patrocinia Torres (Abuela), Pold Gastello (Zambrano), Emilran Cosso (Osman), Gustavo Cerrn (Benigno), Gilberto Torres (Alcalde 1).

effect of civil war between Shining Path and Peruvian villagers


The story follows Juan a young boy in a poor village in Peru.  He lives with his mother and a man named Fermin.  Juan is not happy with Fermin because the man is too rough on him, handing out rough spankings for even small offenses.  Juan's substitute father/grandfather is the old blacksmith in the village. 

Then one day Juan's entire life changes.  He is forced to go with the guerillas of the Shining Path.  He is taken to a guerilla training area where he is indoctrinated into the movement and trained in terrorist methods.  But Juan is not easily brained-wash.  He is repelled by the brutal violence (without mercy) used by the Shining Path guerillas. 

One day the situation becomes much worse, because Juan learns that the guerillas are going to attack his village and kill Fermin (who is thought to have killed one of the guerillas) and very possibly his mother.  Juan has to figure out someway to get to his village to warn his family of the danger. 


Good movie.  The film illustrates just how terrible the "civil war" in the Peruvian villages could be.  The guerillas of the Shining Path were capable to using severe brutality in their attempts to gain control of Peru.  This struggle and its consequences are dealt with through the eyes of the young village boy Juan.  Life gets very rough for Juan and changes his life completely. 

Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D.

Historical Background:

Shining Path is regarded as a terrorist organization by Peru, the US, and Europe.  It is known for its brutality. 

1928  --  Jos Carlos Maritegui founded the Peruvian Communist Party.  One of his maxims was: "Marxism-Leninism will open the shining path to revolution."

late 1960s  --  Abimael Guzmn, a former university philosophy professor, founded the group known as Shining Path.   (Guzmn is known by his followers as Presidente Gonzalo.)  The organization, with a militant Maoist doctrine, was an offshoot of the Communist Party of Peru Bandera Roja ("red flag"), which in turn split from the original Peruvian Communist Party.

1973-1975  --  Shining Path gained control of the student councils in the Universities of Huancayo and La Cantuta and had a strong influence on the National University of Engineering in Lima and the National University of San Marcos.

1980 (the beginning of)  -- timed with the first elections in a dozen years in Peru, the Shining Path starts the "armed struggle".   At first, the organization obtained some support in the villages because Shining Path eliminated some very unpopular figures in the villages and punished criminals. 

1980  --  in the elections Fernando Belande Terry was returned to power.  He did not take immediate action against Shining Path.  (He was afraid of the military because his first government had been ended by a military coup. 

1981 (December 29)  --  to fight Shining Path, the government declared an "emergency zone" in the three Andean regions of Ayacucho, Huancavelica and Apurmac.  The military arrested many innocent people (and at times torturing or raping them).   It also carried out several village massacres.

1983 (January)  --  rondas (anti-Shining Path patrols organized by village peasants) attacked Shining Path guerillas near Huata. 

1983 (February)  --   in Sacsamarca, rondas stabbed and killed the local Shining Path commanders.

1983 (March)  --  rondas killed one of the commanders of the town of Lucanamarca (stoning, stabbing, burning and shooting him).  

1983 (April)  --  in revenge, Shining Path killed 69 people (including a six months old child)  in several different towns in their first massacre of villagers.  Additional massacres followed. 

1985 (June)  --  again Shining Path blows up electricity transmission towers in Lima. 

1985 (August 29)  --  massacred of villagers by Shining Path in Marcas.

by 1991  --  Shining Path controlled much of the countryside of center and south Peru (with a big influence in the outskirts of Lima).

1991  --  President Alberto Fujimori gave the rondas a legal status.  The groups now were called Comits de auto defensa ("Committees of Self Defence").  They were now trained by the Peruvian Army.

1992 (July 16)  --  in one of its last attacks in Lima, Shining Path exploded a bomb on Tarata Street in the upscale district of Miraflores, Lima.  More than 20 people were killed. 

1992 (September 12)  --  Peruvian police captured Guzmn in Lima.  Leadership taken over by scar Ramrez

1999  --  capture of scar Ramrez.  Shining Path splintered and lost much of its influence in Peru.  (But a militant faction of Shining Path called Proseguir ("Onward") continued to be active.

2003 in a report of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, established by interim President Valentn Paniagua, found that 69,280 people had died or disappeared one half caused by Shining Path and one-third caused by the government security forces.

2003  --  the Peruvian National Police broke up several Shining Path training camps.  They also captured many leaders of the group.

2005 (December 22)  --   Shining Path kill eight in an ambush of a police patrol in the Hunuco region.

2006 (December)  --  Shining Path had around 300 members. 



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