Peru: Sendero Luminoso attacks spread

On July 4, Sendero Luminoso guerillas attacked the Peruvian army’s Counter-terrorist Base Number 42 at Canayre, Huanta province, Ayacucho region, in the Apurímac-Ene River Valley (VRAE), leaving one solider dead. On June 29, in a rare attack outside the VRAE, Sendero guerillas attacked Counter-terrorist Base Number 43 at Cachibamba Grande, Pampas Tayacaja province, Huancavelica region, leaving one soldier wounded. (Notimex, July 4; Correo, RPP, June 29)

The VRAE, a pocket of jungle on the fringe of the Amazon rainforest, is one of the last two small areas of Peru that still has an active Sendero insurgency, along with the Upper Huallaga Valley, another high jungle region to the northwest. Cachibamba Grande is in the far more populated central highlands, well outside the high jungle zone.

On June 26, Florindo Eleuterio Flores Hala AKA “Comrade Artemio,” the Upper Huallaga Sendero leader captured earlier this year, was formally charged with narco-trafficking and the deaths of 150 people. Prosecutors charged that Artemio ran a cocaine laboratory at Santa Rosa de Mishollo, San Martín region, in the VRAE, which produced five tons of the refined drug each month. Artemio was captured in a raid on the lab by security forces in February. (EFE, June 26)

See our last posts on Peru and Sendero Luminoso.

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  1. Sendero child soldiers rescued, Humala boasts
    President Ollanta Humala boasted a raid on a Sendero Luminoso camp in the sub-zone of Ayacucho region known as the VRAEM (Auprímac-Ene-Mantaro River Valley), in which 10 “terrorists” were arrested and 11 children “rescued” July 7. Reports said some of the children were receiving military training, but also indicated that some of them were as young as two years, the oldest being seven. Reports described the children as “abducted” by the guerillas. They did not say what is to be their fate, other than that they are currently in the care of the government aid agency INABIF. There was reportedly an exchange of fire in the operation, but no casualties. (RPP, InfoBAE, July 7)

  2. More controversy around children “rescued” from Sendero

    Controversy is again emerging over claims that Peru’s armed forces “rescued” three children from a Sendero Luminoso training camp in the VRAE in September. Jorge Aparicio Camarena, mayor of Santo Domingo de Acombamba municipal district, Junín region, near where the operation took place, asserts that a 9-year old girl was killed during the “rescue.”

    Furthermore, he asserted that Sendero Luminoso had not in fact kidnapped the children, but were in the care of their parents who “are ordinary people.” He said the parents were preparing to come forward with documentation that proved the children attended school, and were also beneficiaries of the Vaso de Leche feeding program. The supposed rescue, Aparicio said, was “probably a mistake.” (Peru This Week, Sept. 12)