The Era of Terrorism: The Peruvian Armed Conflict and the Temporal Scope of Application of International Humanitarian Law
13 Pages Posted: 6 Mar 2017
Date Written: March 3, 2017
During the eighties and nineties, Peruvians lived through what they call the "Era of Terrorism", or "la Época del Terrorismo" in the original Spanish. Throughout these years, the Peruvian Government battled against the "Shining Path", a bloody and violent Maoist terrorist organization. The "Era of Terrorism" is Peru's most destructive national tragedy since its 19th century war against Chile, and it has been belatedly recognized as a non-international armed conflict by its Truth & Reconciliation Commission, since 2003. Yet, despite its importance, not much attention has been given to the international law implications of this armed conflict, specifically, its relationship to international humanitarian law. In this article, I will analyze the Peruvian armed conflict through the lens of international humanitarian law, seeking to legally determine its beginning and ending point, a question that, surprisingly, remains unanswered to this date. My ulterior objective is to encourage the improvement of our understanding of the "Era of Terrorism" through international humanitarian law.
Keywords: Peru, Shining Path, Sendero Luminoso, Era of Terrorism, Época del Terrorismo, Armed Conflict, Non-International Armed Conflict, End of Armed Conflict, Existence of Armed Conflict
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