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Leadership DecapitationStrategic Targeting of Terrorist Organizations$
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Jenna Jordan

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781503608245

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9781503608245.001.0001

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The Shining Path

The Shining Path

The Organization and Support of a Left-Wing Group

(p.124) 6 The Shining Path
Leadership Decapitation

Jenna Jordan

Stanford University Press

Chapter 6 explores the case of the Shining Path and accounts for variation in the outcome of targeting efforts. As the Shining Path became less bureaucratic in structure and experienced a loss in communal support, it became more susceptible to destabilization in the wake of leadership attacks. When Abimael Guzmán was arrested in 1992, the organization had a large amount of communal support and an organized bureaucratic authority structure. The ideology upon which the group relied was based on Guzmán’s interpretation of Marxist thought. Given the group’s high degree of institutionalization, its ideology became entrenched and was not dependent upon Guzmán. The organization was thus able to withstand the 1992 capture of Guzmán and other leaders. By 1999, when Óscar Ramírez Durand was arrested, the organization was already in a state of decline. It had lost a considerable number of its members and its bureaucratic structure was severely weakened.

Keywords:   leadership decapitation, Shining Path, Abimael Guzmán, ideology, Marxism, local support, organizational structure

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