A corpse, a matter of state

In his office, the government asks the Public Ministry to order the cremation of the remains of the former guerrilla leader, described by official authorities as an “insane terrorist.” And for this, he resorted to the General Health Law and the General Cemeteries Law, indicating that from a systematic reading of these regulations it can be verified that the corpses not claimed or not delivered within the legal deadlines, remain in the custody of the Public ministry. Thus, death does not end the controversy that Abimael Guzmán aroused throughout his life due to his actions and sayings. It is that the justice and the political class of Peru, in general, agree in blaming the Shining Path no less than the death of 35,000 people between 1980 and 2000.

Guzmán, a Maoist ideological leader who was blamed for organizing hundreds of attacks in hiding, died on Saturday at the age of 86 in a maximum security military prison in Lima where he was serving a life sentence, held since 1992. His image turned the corner. world when 15 days after being “hunted”, he was publicly exhibited in a cage, dressed in a striped suit, while he rushed like a beast locked against the bars and shouted and outbursts at the press covering the “event” .

His life in prison was never known much, he was rarely seen again. However, his name came to the fore again when his health was reported to have deteriorated in early July. The prison authority then reported that he refused to eat and be transferred to a hospital, although, on the recommendation of his
lawyer, finally agreed.

After a few days he was discharged and had to return to the military detention center and now, two months later, he realizes his death from pneumonia and double lung involvement, a pathology normally associated with
Covid-19. So it will be up to the prosecution to determine whether to hand over his body to his relatives or directly reduce it to ashes. The country fears that the site where he may be buried will become a pilgrimage site for his former comrades in arms and that, eventually, violent riots will break out. Something that, okay
to Peruvian legislation, it would also constitute the crime of apology to terrorism.

Ex officio, the corpse of a prisoner is handed over to his family after a prosecutor investigates the causes of death and a judge authorizes it. In fact, the only relative of the deceased is Elena Iparraguirre, his wife and who was the number two of Shining Path. She and Abimael Guzmán were arrested on the same day and now continues
dam. On Sunday, a friend and former cellmate of the now widow Iparraguirre presented a power of attorney before the Third Prosecutor’s Office of Callao requesting that the mortal remains of someone who is considered almost a monstrosity of evil in Peru be handed over to her.

For now there is no decision in this regard, although legally the woman should have presented a power of attorney to certify the power granted for the requested procedure.

But the matter does not end there, because right-wing opposition congressmen and opinion leaders are demanding that the government pass a supreme decree ordering the removal of Guzmán’s remains. For her part, the Fujimori parliamentarian Rosangela Barbarán rejected the idea of ​​throwing them into the sea. A former minister of
Interior of the government of Ollanta Humala agreed with her. José Luis Pérez Guadalupe, who is also a specialist in penitentiary affairs, told Radioprogramas del Peru: “They must not pollute the sea of ​​Grau with their ashes.”

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