LIMA, Peru – LIMA, Peru (AP) — The founder of the once-fearsome Shining Path guerrilla group married his longtime lover on Friday in the maximum-security prison where he is serving a life term, a prison official said.
The 75-year-old Abimael Guzman married Elena Iparraguirre, who was once his second-in-command, in a 15-minute ceremony at the prison inside the El Callao Naval Base in Lima, prison chief Ruben Rodriguez Rabanal said.
Iparraguirre, 62, was brought over from the women's prison for the civil wedding, Rodriguez told the Peruvian radio station Radioprogramas.
The two were captured in 1992 and sentenced to life imprisonment for terrorism after leading the bloody Maoist guerrilla insurgency for more than a decade.
Peru's war with the guerrillas killed about 70,000 people between 1980 and 2000, according to the independent Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Iparraguirre announced their plans to wed in 2007. Members of her family witnessed the wedding, along with members of the Peruvian navy, Rodriguez said.
For years, the couple had complained through their lawyers that officials did not allow them visits and erected obstacles to prevent a wedding. They shared a cell in the naval base for their first 11 years behind bars, but later Iparraguirre was moved to another prison.
President Alan Garcia said in February that the two should be permitted to wed, saying if it's within the law, even "the most despicable criminal" is still human and should have the right.
The Shining Path faded after Guzman's capture, but isolated guerrilla bands have grown with the drug trade, and there have been sporadic clashes with the military in remote areas of the Andean country in recent years.