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Peru Destroys Coca Leaf Maceration Wells, Terrorist Camps

Peru Destroys Coca Leaf Maceration Wells, Terrorist Camps

By Pedro Francisco Hurtado Cánepa/Diálogo
August 25, 2021

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The Peruvian Armed Forces and National Police dealt harsh blows to terrorism and narcotrafficking in the main coca-growing area of ​​Peru, the Apurímac, Ene, and Mantaro Rivers Valley (VRAEM, in Spanish).

During an operation in Huanta province, Ayacucho, on August 7, 2021, the Peruvian Armed Forces Joint Command (CCFFAA, in Spanish) destroyed 14 coca leaf maceration wells meant for cocaine hydrochloride production.

On August 3, during another operation also in Ayacucho, patrols from the VRAEM Special Command incinerated four other maceration ponds, a crystallization lab, and detained one person. That same day, during an operation in Satipo province, Junín, authorities arrested three members of a gang engaged in drug distribution, the CCFFAA said.

Days before, on July 22, also in Satipo, authorities destroyed 10 maceration ponds, thanks to territorial control patrol operations, the Peruvian government reported.

On July 3, authorities destroyed four camps that belonged to the terrorist organization that calls itself the Marxist-Leninist-Maoist mainly Maoist Militarized Communist Party of Peru (MPCP-MLMPM, in Spanish), in a joint attack that law enforcement forces led in Huanta, Ayacucho, the ministries of Defense and the Interior reported in a joint statement.

The confrontation injured one Army noncommissioned officer, killed three terrorists, and injured another six, who are now in custody. The CCFFAA investigation established that terrorist elements had their base of operations in the Pampa Aurora area, in Ayacucho.

Víctor Quispe Palomino, better known as comrade José, is the MPCP-MLMPM leader and one of the most wanted persons for narcotrafficking, the CCFFAA says.

“The MPCP-MLMPM name is just a tactic to distract the population,” Pedro Yaranga, a Peruvian expert on narcotrafficking and terrorism, told Diálogo. “The MPCP-MLMPM continues to be the same Shining Path, and it upholds the same plan that Abimael Guzmán himself started; what they do is employ a seemingly peaceful rhetoric to recruit more followers, and for that they go from community to community.”

The Peruvian Communist Party, known as the Shining Path, is a terrorist organization that began its operations in 1980. Guzmán, its main leader, is serving a life sentence at the Callao Naval Base.