A former ballet teacher who used her dance studio to hide Shining Path founder Abimael Guzman — inspiring a best-selling 1995 novel and a movie directed by John Malkovich — was sentenced Tuesday to 20 years in prison after a three-month civilian retrial.
Peru’s national criminal court said in a statement Tuesday that Maritza Garrido Lecca would also have to pay a fine of $18,000. With time served, she is due for release in 2012.
Garrido Lecca, 41, had been handed a life sentence imposed by a secret military court system soon after her September 1992 arrest. But two years ago, the draconian military tribunals were ruled unconstitutional, leading to retrials for dozens of convicted rebels.
A separate civilian retrial for Guzman and 11 of his top commanders started Sept. 26 and is expected to last about five months.
Garrido Lecca was 28 when police captured the Maoist guerrilla leader in her studio in a middle-class Lima neighborhood.
Many Peruvians, who for years had associated the Shining Path insurgency with impoverished highland Indians and Lima’s disenfranchised, mixed-race urban population, were shocked that a daughter of Peru’s white elite had been providing food, clothes and medicine for Guzman.
Author Nicholas Shakespeare used the story as inspiration for his novel “The Dancer Upstairs,” which Malkovich turned into a 2002 movie of the same name, starring Javier Bardem.
In 1980, the Shining Path launched a campaign of car bombings, sabotage and assassinations to overthrow the government and install a communist state.
The fighting took nearly 70,000 lives, although the violence dropped off significantly following the capture of Guzman and other key leaders.
Several hundred guerrillas continue to operate in Peru’s highland jungles, where they run protection for cocaine traffickers.