The Myth of Guzman

THE FIRST PICTURES OF THE CAPTIVE ABIMAEL GUZMAN WERE startling: an obese, bespectacled man obeying police orders to put on his shirt. Could this dumpy, bewildered fellow, last seen publicly in 1979, really be Shining Path's shining light? Here was the mysterious man who billed himself as the "Fourth Sword" of communism -- the successor to Marx, Lenin and Mao. Under the guerrilla alias "Presidente Gonzalo," Guzman fashioned himself into the demigod of a cultlike political movement. As far as his supporters were concerned, Guzman's mythic aura of brilliance, charisma and invincibility shielded him from comparisons with other mortals. Latin Americans...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!