Amid suspicions, a leftist organization of ex-Shining Path guerillas, known as Movadef, is prepping to launch mayoral candidates in at least three districts across Peru.
The candidates, two set to run in southeast Puno and another two in Hunacayo in the central highlands, are members of Movadef. A fifth contender, Grimaldo Ordinola, is a member of the "National Awakening" party and is running in San Juan de Lurigancho, a district outside Lima. This is the first time that the political arm of Shining Path is taking part in Peru's municipal elections, set to take place on October 3.
El Comercio reports that next week Movadef will also announce a candidate for Lima's mayoral race. It will be worth watching Movadef's performance come election day, although the organization is probably not helping its cause by advocating for general amnesty for ex-guerrillas serving time in prison. This includes former Shining Path leader Abimael Guzmán, currently serving a life sentence. Movadef is not yet recognized by the government as a legitimate political party, but that hasn't stopped ex-guerrillas from MRTA, another defunct Marxist revolutionary group, from openly backing Social Democrat Susana Villaran in Lima's mayoral race. She is currently leading with 42 percent in the polls. Nevertheless, Movadef will probably need to do more media campaigning to distance itself from Shining Path's remnants, still operating in the Upper Huallaga Valley.