Two imprisoned leaders of the Sendero Luminoso guerilla movement were released from military prison to house arrest by authorities in Peru, sparking outrage and debate in the country's media. Osmán Morote, once considered the number-two man in the organization, was arrested by anti-terrorist police in Lima in 1988. He completed his 25-year term in 2013, but remained in detention as new charges were brought against him. He was now accused of having directed from prison the 1992 car-bomb attack on Tarata Street in Lima that left 23 dead. This year, additional charges were brought against him, concerning the 1984 massacre of 120 peasants at the village of Soras, Ayacucho. Also ordered released was Margot Liendo, who was arrested in 1988 along with Morote, and also faces outstanding charges in the Tarata Street attack. The transfers from the detention facility at Callao Naval Base were ordered by the National Penal Chamber of Peru. Both Morote and Liendo were required to pay a bond of 10,000 soles ($3,100), and will be guarded at their homes in the Lima area by National Police agents. Morote and Liendo have both declared a hunger strike in protest of the police presence and house arrest order, saying they should have absolute freedom after serving their 25-year terms. But President Martín Vizcarra called upon the judges to reverse their decision, and keep Morote and Liendo behind bars while the new charges are pending against them. (El País, Peru21, April 20; InfoBae, April 27)
Peru demolishes Sendero mausoleum
Peruvian authorities have demolished a mausoleum holding eight Shining Path prisoners killed in a prison massacre more than three decades ago and relocated their remains to a cemetery in a northern part of Lima.
More than 50 police officers and dozens of workers from the cemetery in the Comas district of Peru's capital participated in the operation. The remains of the Maoist rebels will be buried in separate niches.
The rebels were killed in June 1986 uprisings at three prisons in Lima during which security forces killed 250 suspected Shining Path followers. Prisoners killed three soldiers and one police officer. Conservative parties in Peru and members of the military called the mausoleum an apology for terrorism. Authorities say its construction was begun without the necessary permits. (AP)