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Confrontation between Police and Shining Path Column Following Incursion into Camp

By Dialogo
July 24, 2009

Lima, 22 July (EFE).- The Peruvian police exchanged shots with a Shining Path column in a jungle zone of the Huánuco region, following an incursion into a camp belonging to “Comrade Artemio,” the only historical leader of this armed group at liberty, official sources confirmed today. “Comrade Artemio” is believed to have been wounded in the confrontation that took place yesterday, Tuesday, in the locality of Yanajanca (around six hundred kilometers northeast of Lima), although there is still no proof of this, EFE was told by a source in the intelligence bureau of the El Huallaga Police Front who participated in the operation. Following the armed confrontation, in which the security forces suffered no casualties, the members of the Shining Path fled, “leaving behind all the logistics,” the source specified, upon indicating that the camp belonged to “Comrade Artemio.” “Upon taking the camp, bloodstains were found on some items of clothing and on the ground, as a result of which it is presumed that the terrorist criminal known as “Comrade Artemio” was wounded,” the source indicated. “Artemio,” whose identity is not known for certain, commands a column of Shining Path remnants in Upper Huallaga (to which Yanajanca belongs), an area where coca leaf and cocaine are produced. The remnants of the Shining Path, which according to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was responsible for more than half of the 69,000 deaths during the years of terrorism (1990-2000), did not acknowledge the ceasefire ordered by the organization’s founder, Abimael Guzmán, following his capture together with the top echelon of the Maoist group in 1992. The source from the El Huallaga Police Front stated today that “packs, uniforms, equipment, ammunition, provisions, and other things” were also found in the Yanajanca camp. In April the Shining Path ambushed Peruvian army troops in the coca-growing zone of the southeastern Valley of the Apurímac and Ene Rivers (VRAE), where the terrorists are commanded by “Comrade José” and “Comrade Alipio,” and killed fourteen soldiers, the highest number of casualties among the security forces in recent years.