villa el salvador is the biggest favela in perù, located on the outskirts of lima. in 1971 it was just a deserted and dusty plain, when 4.000 homeless families occupied the area. after few months people living here were about 90.000. villa el salvador evolved into a huge urban zone, largely self-organizing that through the efforts of its inhabitants, was supplied with electricity, water, and sewage. 

in 1984, maría elena moyano delgado was elected president of the federación popular de mujeres de villa el salvador, a federation of women from villa el salvador. under her leadership, it grew to encompass public kitchens, health committees, income-generating projects, and committees for basic education. in 1990, moyano left her position and shortly thereafter was elected deputy mayor of the municipality of villa el salvador. few years later, sendero luminoso, a terrorist group founded in the 60' by abimael guzmán, seized and eliminated the independent leadership of the popular neighborhoods around lima, and specifically of the emblematic villa el salvador. on february 15, 1992, sendero luminoso forces marched into the town, assassinated moyano in front of her son, and then dynamited her lifeless body. 

in 2015, villa el salvador is still a relatively poor neighborhood, now containing about 600.000 people. 

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