I thought this weeks video was fascinating. Peru’s unique history holds a lot of interest for me- and I think there’s a lot we can learn from it. In my opinion, one of the most fascinating things about Peru’s military takeover in 1968 is that, for maybe the first time ever- and since- there was a coup that resulted in a progressive military government; one that attempted to better the lives of its people through land and social reforms. I still can’t wrap my head around that. For once, there was a military government with unquestionable force, and with that power they tried to do something good. Even more amazing in my eyes, is that their attempts failed. The uniqueness of the tragedy is noteworthy. I wonder how things might have resolved had Sendero Luminoso never risen to power. Would the government have the want or the ability to first restore order in the agricultural societies, and second pursue other social reforms? Of course, we know that power would’ve been transferred from a military government in the democratic 1980 elections, so its not like all of these acts would’ve been under an autocratic government. However, when you consider the means the government did adopt during the Sendero Crisis, one starts to wonder if there was any significant difference. I do not believe that the sender Luminoso were in the right, nor do I condone any of their actions, which I believe to have done far more damage than good. But that doesn’t mean everything the government forces did in retaliation were right either. In class we asked the question “is violence ever justified?”, which is a question I believe to be very pertinent to the situation at the time. At the time, violence may have been necessary for either side to prevail, but only because both sides worked themselves into that state. I don’t want to be too naïve, but I do think that violence can be avoided. The events that lead up to the conflict may have been convoluted and hard to piece together, and I’m not sure that anyone can be blamed if they did not see it coming. However, if we look back and learn to recognize patterns of behaviour that lead to violence and abuse perhaps we can avoid future crimes. Peru, I think, has many lessons for us to learn, if we have the aptitude to learn.