Abimael Guzmán, founder and longtime leader of the Peruvian guerrilla movement Shining Path, has died.

He died at the age of 86 in the extra-security prison at Naval Base Callao, the prison management announced on Saturday.

His health has deteriorated in recent months.

He barely ate and was treated in hospital for a while.

"The terrorist leader Abimael Guzmán, who is responsible for the loss of countless lives of our compatriots, is dead," President Pedro Castillo wrote on Twitter.

"Our condemnation of terrorism is strong and irrevocable. Only in a democracy can we build a Peru of justice and development for our people."

Falleció el cabecilla terrorista Abimael Guzmán, responsible de la perdida de incontables vidas de nuestros compatriotas.

Nuestra posición de condena al terrorismo es firme e indeclinable.

Solo en democracia construiremos un Perú de justicia y desarrollo para nuestro pueblo.

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AuthorPedroCastilloTeMoment of places17:30 - September 11, 2021

Guzmán worked as a professor of philosophy at the University of Ayacucho in the 1960s.

Later he went underground and founded the rebel organization Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path).

In 1992, he was arrested in Lima and sentenced to life imprisonment for a bloody bomb attack in the Peruvian capital that left 25 dead and 155 injured.

The rebel leader has always denied being responsible for the attack, but was sentenced again to life in prison in September 2018.

Between 1980 and 2000, nearly 70,000 people were killed in clashes between Sendero Luminoso and state security forces.

Although nearly all Shining Path leaders are behind bars, combatants are still scattered in isolated forest and mountain areas. Authorities estimated their number at 350 earlier this year, accusing them of collaborating with drug traffickers.

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