One Peruvian Soldier Dies, Two Wounded In Clash With Shining Path
By Dialogo March 02, 2009One Peruvian soldier died and two were wounded in a clash with remnants of the armed group Shining Path in the Vizcatan area of the Ayacucho region, some 600 kilometers (370 miles) south of Lima, military officials said. In a press release the Armed Forces High Command said that the soldier who died, identified as David Farfan Arias, had been wounded together with two fellow soldiers in a military operation carried out to win back Tincuya hill. According to the officials, Tincuya hill is "one of the places where these criminals have been harassing patrols and particularly their air support." In another document released hours before, it was said that the troops had put an undetermined number of combatants from the terrorist organization out of action, without saying if they had been killed or wounded. Last August the Peruvian armed forces began an aggressive campaign in the Valley of the Apurimac and Ene Rivers, or VRAE, particularly in the jungle area of Vizcatan, considered until recently an impregnable Shining Path stronghold. Shining Path remnants who never accepted the cease-fire ordered by its founder, Abimael Guzman, in 1992, operate in the VRAE coca-growing areas under the command of Victor Quispe (Comrade Jose), as well as in the Alto Huallaga in the northeast under the orders of the only one of the original leaders still free, "Comrade Artemio." Peruvian authorities consider these terrorist remnants to be allies of drug traffickers, but some experts say that they themselves have become a drug cartel. At the beginning of the year, remnants of Shining Path, who according to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission are responsible for more than half of the 69,000 deaths during the years of terrorism (1990-2000), threatened to continue in 2009 their "revolutionary war" in the area of Vizcatan.