María Elena Moyano
November 29, 1958 – February 15, 1992
I commemoration of women's history month, María Elena certainly deserves to go down in history as a martyr who made her mark in this world. She was a community organizer and activist of Afro-Peruvian descent. Moyano was born in the Barranco district of Lima. Her activism began in her teens, as a member of the Movimiento de Jóvenes Pobladores (Young Population Movement), in a vast shantytown on the outskirts of the capital, largely populated by migrants from the interior of the country. At age 24, she was elected president of the Federación Popular de Mujeres de Villa El Salvador (Popular Federation of Women of El Salvador Village).
At this time, The terrorist group, Shining Path, was trying to consolidate its hold on the poorer neighborhoods of Lima. They were suspicious of all social organizations in Peru, such as the one led by María Moyano.The fear, and terror pushed impoverished women to speak up, and get involved in organized groups. The war between the Shining Path and the military affected women for most of them were raped excessively by the military group. Maria Elena went on to confront the Shining Path by calling them terrorist, and the Peruvian National Police accusing them of violence, and murder.
Maria Elena Moyano soon began to contemplate her death, as she had good reason since many women activists in Peru were murdered. Shining Path guerrillas assassinated Maria Elena Moyano on February 15, 1992 in front of her son: Gustavo and her husband David Pineki at a fund-raising meal for a group of women.
The assassination of Moyano was one of the last major atrocities carried out by Shining Path before their downfall. Moyano has been honored through a film after her death: Coraje (Courage). The film was written and directed by Alberto Durant. A country filled with violence, inequality and danger; Maria Elena Moyano proved to be a signal of hope when approximately 3,000,000 people accompanied her coffin. a statue honoring Moyano was erected, and her autobiography was published.