Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2021


The rapid decline of the Peruvian left-wing insurgent organization Sendero Luminoso was not only the result of the arrest of its leader. An analysis of the precipitous weakening of the organization using two social movement theories finds other factors were involved in the demise of the organization as well. These factors—participatory politics, support for the military among the rural population, and alienation of the population by Sendero Luminoso—provide insights to effective counterinsurgency tactics.

Original Citation

Darren Colby, "Toward Successful COIN: Shining Path’s Decline," Parameters 51, no. 2 (2021),