Peru Extends State Of Emergency In Andean Regions

By Dialogo
November 08, 2011

The Peruvian government said on November 7 it had issued a 60-day extension of a state of emergency in several towns in the central Andean regions prone to outbursts of political violence.

Ayacucho, Cusco, Huancavelica and Junin are home to remnants of the Shining Path guerrilla movement, especially active in Ayacucho in the 1980s before they were beaten back in the mid-1990s.

A state of emergency has been in effect in those areas for two years as government forces battle the guerrillas and drug traffickers.

A decree published in the official gazette said the extension had been in effect from November 1 in the towns of Huanta and La Mar in the Ayacucho region, and in Tayacaja province in Huancavelica. Districts in the Cusco and Junin regions were also affected.

“Conditions persist contrary to domestic law that is affecting the normal development of the population,” the decree read.

A separate state of emergency has been in effect since mid-September in parts of the Amazon region, amid strikes and protests by coca growers who complain of “forced eradication” of their crops.

The government says the 60-day emergency there aims to “protect the population” from trafficking groups profiting from illegal coca cultivation, and from remnants of the Shining Path.

The crackdown comes after the government of President Ollanta Humala vowed to resume a coca eradication program it had earlier suspended.