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Peru's Shining Path leaves online trail

Video by FRANCE 24

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2009-09-24

In this edition: in Peru, anti-terrorism mobilisation is alive and kicking; Web users react to the election of Bulgaria's Irina Bokova at the head of UNESCO; a mother sea lion and her calf cause an online buzz

Peru: fight against terrorism


In Peru, anti-terrorism mobilisation lives on. The release of a book by the former leader of the ‘Shining Path’ Maoist guerrilla movement from behind bars has added fuel to the fire. For many, the book constitutes an "apology for terrorism" just when Peru is witnessing a wave of acts which the "Shining Path" has claimed responsibility for. The Web is now an ally for the guerrilla army’s opponents but also a showcase for its members.

The launch of Abimael Guzman’s autobiography, ‘By my own hand’, generated a rapid reaction from Net users. This man wonders how the public enemy number one managed to publish such a book from his prison cell. And he calls for the terrorist leader to be silenced once and for all.

Faced with a return to terrorist-linked violence, this blogger has created a montage in support of the Peruvian army and its fight against the Maoist guerrilla forces.

Meanwhile, the net remains an essential tool for the Shining Path terrorist movement. The Web allow its members to spread their ideology freely. This video which calls for a popular uprising, pays tribute to the guerrilleros and to Guzman, nicknamed "President Gonzalo".

And on Facebook, a page calling for Abimael Guzman’s release with propagandist images has also appeared.

Finally on this website, many articles bearing the Shining Path logo are available to Net users. Stickers, badges and even skateboards, a full panoply for Peruvian revolutionaries is just a few clicks away.

Irina Bokova: UNESCO director

Irina Bokova, the current Bulgarian ambassador in France, is the new director-general of UNESCO. Elected by 31 votes to 27, and beating the Egyptian culture minister, Farouk Hosni, she will be the first woman to lead the United Nations Organisation for Education, Science and Culture. A result which relieves some members of the blogosphere.

Many Net users, such as the members of these Facebook groups, felt that Hosni lacked legitimacy to be elected head of the UN Organisation. Net users criticised him for expressing anti-Semitic views last year and for being the culture minister in a country which regularly imprisons bloggers who are critical of power.

Mobilisation which also saw participation by celebrities such as philosopher Bernard Henry-Lévy, Elie Wiesel and film maker Claude Lanzmann. In this open letter to UNESCO, translated into several languages and available online, the three men describe Hosni as a dangerous figure, hostile to dialogue.

Meanwhile, as emphasised by this video, available on the organisation’s site, the challenges faced by Bokova and UNESCO are significant and the task is far from easy.

A mission which does not seem to worry this 53 year old mother of two; as she explains on this blog. Irina Bokova asserts that in her opinion, the values and objectives of peace and humanism, defended by UNESCO are now more necessary than ever before.

The Little Prince

The Little Prince, Saint-Exupéry’s famous tale, which has sold over 130 million copies since it was first published in 1943, has found a new lease of life online. A site entirely devoted to the character allows users to discover or rediscover the story’s universe. And for those with an artistic soul, this site challenges you to portray the little prince on his planet!

Did you know?

The series "Did You Know" comes out each year on line. Each year, the video reveals statistics linked to new technologies. We learn for example that a Californian man is thought to have sent over 200,000 text messages in March 2009, that 95% of songs downloaded last year were not paid for by Net users and that Wikipedia offers over 13 million articles in 200 languages. A successful video which is now in its forth year.

Video of the day

Here is the video currently creating an online buzz. We see images filmed at Pittsburgh zoo in the USA of a mother sea lion keeping an eye on her calf and teaching him to swim. All under the dumbstruck gaze of zoo visitors. A video which should appeal to nature lovers.

Date created : 2009-09-24