Page 150 REFLECTIONS AND REPORTS Deborah Poole and Gerardo RÃ©nique On March 20, 2002, nine months after the inauguration of Peruâs newly elected president, Alejandro Toledo, and two days before George W. Bushâs much anticipated trip to Peru, two simultaneous car bombs shattered the tranquility of an upper-class neighborhood a few blocks from the U.S. embassy in Lima. Nine people were killed and forty injured in the blasts, for which no one claimed responsibility. Rumors immediately began to circulate in Lima. Some speculated that perhaps the moribund forces of Abimael GuzmÃ¡nâs once-strong Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso) party had gathered a new and unnoticed strength. Others cast a nervous glance backwards toward the still very real threat of the National Intelligence Services formerly headed by the now infamous criminalâand once-favored U.S. allyâ Vladimiro Montesinos. Still others read the bombs as warnings from the FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia, Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) and their Peruvian ânarcoâ allies about the dangers of any further concessions to Bushâs âColombia Plan.â Along with such rumors, however, Peruvians quickly relapsed into old habits. Security measures were increased, parties canceled, fear revived, and public life curtailed. The bombs had brought with them
Radical History Review – Duke University Press
Published: Jan 1, 2003
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