Controversy in Peru over the fate of Abimael Guzmán's remains

Peru’s justice continues to hold the body of the founder of the Peruvian Maoist guerrilla Sendero Luminoso, Abimael Guzmán, despite the claim of the family who demands to receive the remains to be buried. The body of Guzmán, who died on Saturday at the age of 86 in a maximum security prison where he had served a life sentence since 1992 for the same charge as his wife Elena Yparraguirre, remained on Sunday in the morgue in the city of Callao under police custody. The Public Ministry indicated that Guzmán’s cause of death is bilateral pneumonia caused by a pathological agent and added that your remains must be handed over to a direct relative, although the decision is in the hands of the third prosecutor’s office of Callao.

The authorities of the Pedro Castillo government spoke out in favor of his cremation to avoid that there is a tomb where the pilgrimage of his sympathizers takes place. In turn, the Justice Ministry warned that tributes to guerrilla leaders such as Guzmán will be tried under the crime of apology for terrorism, punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

The Public Ministry said in a statement on Sunday that the general health law and the criminal procedure code establish that “the remains must be delivered to the direct family members duly accredited”. In that sense, he confirmed that Citizen Iris Quiñonez asked the Third Provincial Criminal Criminal Prosecutor’s Office of Callao to hand over Guzmán’s body, expressing that she had a power of attorney granted by his wife Elena Iparraguirre, considered the number two of Sendero and also sentenced to life imprisonment for terrorism.

Founder of Shining Path, Guzmán died Saturday of pneumonia, as determined in his autopsy. The conclusion is subject to the results of the pathological, toxicological and chemical examinations, among others ordered by the prosecutor. The guerrilla leader was serving his sentence at the Callao Naval Base, but had to be transferred to a common prison in the coming months.

A former university professor of philosophy, Guzmán had suffered health problems in July of this year. He spent his last 29 years in prison, condemned for having been one of the intellectual responsible for one of the bloodiest conflicts in Latin America, which left more than 70,000 dead and missing between 1980 and 2000, according to figures from the Commission of Truth and Reconciliation.

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