Pursuing solutions to terrorism
Throughout the 1980s and 90s, a movement in Peru named Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path) tried to foment a revolution to establish Marxist communism. Claiming to empower the common people, Sendero Luminoso victimized indigenous peasants and anyone who opposed them. Anna Miro and her family were fortunate to be able to employ an armed bodyguard, but one day he accompanied the family inside the zoo, and when they returned to their car, it had been ransacked. Rebels carjacked Anna’s uncle and held him at gunpoint. Anna often heard bombs exploding at night. Her family immigrated to the United States and settled in Bakersfield, California. Anna, grateful not to live in terror every day, already had a sense that she wanted to make a difference in the world. Knowing she wanted to study politics and international relations by the time she was a junior in high school, she attended the National Young Leaders Conference on Defense, Intelligence and Diplomacy in Washington, DC, strengthening her career ideas in the direction of international cooperation.
She entered San Diego State University and eventually double-majored in International Security and Conflict Resolution and Political Science, along with a minor in Spanish, always maintaining high academic standards. She spent a summer at Oxford, England studying Terrorism and International relations. The next summer she was able to return to her homeland, a now peaceful and prosperous Peru, and enroll at the Universidad del Pacifico in Lima, Peru along with students from all over the United States. By day she studied Spanish, Peruvian politics, and economics, and by night she loved persuading students from Minnesota and Arkansas to sample Peruvian cuisine and salsa dancing.
A third summer session became available directly through SDSU, our own HSI, where the combination of visionary international students and courses created a “life-changing” experience. She expanded her understanding of international conflict, particularly with regard to the colonial legacy that blindly divided people and still lies behind so much turbulence. In addition, Anna acquired new tools with which to address conflict. She concluded that “All of the lessons I learned are extraordinary, and I believe that they will, in fact, assist all of the fellows in changing the fate of the world.”
Anna has received the Katherine Davis Scholarship to study Arabic at Middlebury College in Vermont after she graduates from SDSU. She plans to focus her studies on counter-terrorism, especially financing counter-terrorism.