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Shining Path founders marry in prison

August 20, 2010 |  4:04 pm

Shining path leaders sendero luminoso afp

The founder of Peru's violent Shining Path guerrilla movement married his long-time partner and former second-in-command at a maximum security naval prison in Peru on Friday. Abimael Guzman, 75, married Elena Iparraguirre, 62, in a 15-minute civil ceremony that was permitted after President Alan Garcia affirmed that even "the most despicable criminal" has the right to wed.

Guzman and Iparraguirre, who are serving life sentences in separate prisons for terrorism and treason, had not seen each other since their last trials in 2006. Their lawyers said they will be allowed to see each other every one or two months as a married couple.

Nearly 70,000 people -- an estimated half of them rebels -- were killed in the 20 years that the Maoist group, Sendero Luminoso in Spanish, was active, beginning in 1980.

In a related development in Peru this week, American Lori Berenson, who acknowledged collaborating with another guerrilla group, the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement, was sent back to prison after losing a parole bid.

-- Daniel Hernandez in Mexico City

Photo: Elena Iparraguirre and Abimael Guzman during a trial in 2004. Credit: AFP

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