SAIS Review, Vol. 23
In its relations with Peru, the United States has historically placed greatest emphasis on fighting the war on drugs. As Sendero Luminoso, The Shining Path, led an insurgency against the Peruvian government in the 1980s and 1990s, the United States provided ample support against the terrorists located in the jungle, especially those participating in the drug trade. But Peru's victory over terrorism then was due more to improved police intelligence and increased public investment, rather than success in the war on drugs. Now, in the midst of economic troubles and a difficult transition back to democracy in Peru, the Shining Path has made a resurgence. The United States again faces a choice about how to proceed - to continue focusing on the war on drugs or to provide sustained levels of investment in Peru's economy and political institutions, thereby turning this war on terror into a war on poverty.