Peruvian Armed Forces, Police Crack Down on Shining Path

Irregular Warfare: The Brazilian Army’s Paratrooper Infantry Brigade in the Pacification of Slums in Rio de Janeiro

Por Dialogo
noviembre 11, 2015

I personally believe we are losing the fights against drugs. We all know that there are lots of political-military authorities who are working hard to control drug trafficking, but we also know that there are others who allow drugs to circulate on our streets. Sadly all we can do is to educate our children with values so they don't fall into this damn trap. Great job These articles are excellent. Congratulations. In order to avoid the drug trafficking problem, the government should industrialise coca leaves and not allow the land to be poisoned by trying to eliminate the plant.

P The rich, the wealthy in every country, policies to oppress the people and they want to oppress the drug traffickers, they won’t be able to. Because all they want is to have power in the world, adding drugs to anything consumed with such freedom, making humanity ill. I think the Peruvian government’s management of the fight against narco terrorism is praiseworthy. By the way, I know they’re giving a bonus to public servants who work at VRAEM which is far from insufficient, the officials don’t disburse the whole amount or simply don’t give it at all, keeping it under the pretext that it has been suspended. This happens above all in Huancayo. Conclusion: scrutiny and sanctions


Peruvian security forces recently captured two alleged Shining Path leaders suspected of organizing terrorist attacks against the Armed Forces, police, and businesses.

The ongoing campaign by security forces against the Shining Path has left the terrorist organization with only 60 to 80 operatives in the Apurímac, Ene, and Mantaro Rivers Valley (VRAEM), a mountainous forest area at the intersection of the Huancayo, Ayacucho, Apurímac, and Cusco regions where the Shining Path colludes with narco-traffickers.

Alexander Alarcón Soto, also known as “Comrade Renán,” and Dionisio Ramos Limaquispe, who uses the alias “Comrade Yuri,” were taken into custody by the Armed Forces and police in August. In addition to allegedly planning attacks against security forces, they're suspected of organizing extortion schemes against business owners; presently they are incarcerated, and will be brought before a court that specializes in terrorism cases.

A continuing campaign


Meanwhile, security forces are continuing their crackdown on the Shining Path with the goal of capturing the terrorist group's leaders, including Victor Palomino, who is known as “Comrade José”; his brother, Jorge Quispe Palomino, who is known as “Comrade Raúl”; and Tarcela Loya Vilchez, who is known as “Comrade Olga” and believed to be the Shining Path's first female militant leader.

“The actions being taken against the terrorists in that area will conclude only when each member is jailed,” said General José Baella, Chief of the Counter-terrorism Office of the Peruvian Police (DIRCOTE).

Security forces are working hard to reach that goal. “It is difficult to put an exact date on it, but the intelligence we have tells us that we are close to capturing the remaining members of the Shining Path terrorist group,” Deputy Minister of Defense Ivan Vega said in August. “The terrorist group finds itself ever the more stunted thanks to the efforts of the police and the Armed Forces.”

One piece of intelligence on the two notes that Comrade José and Comrade Raúl have alliances with drug kingpins, who use the Shining Path to provide security for drug shipments. “The terrorists protect the young backpackers who transport cocaine through the forest and charge $3-$5 per kilo,” Gen. Baella said.

The VRAEM is Peru's primary area where narco-trafficking groups cultivate cocaine, which they transport to Mexico, the United States, and other destinations.

Confronting the Shining Path's drug-trafficking activities


Diminishing the Shining Path's involvement in drug trafficking and its criminal network is a key component of DIRCOTE's counter-terrorism strategy.

“The Armed Forces and the police are constantly executing surveillance operations from the air, on land, and on waterways,” Gen. Baella explained. “This allows us to plan military actions that will disable clandestine airstrips and arrest persons involved in acts of terrorism and drug trafficking.”

Since January 1, security forces have destroyed 193 clandestine landing strips, as the Air Force uses radar technology in the southeast region to monitor suspicious civil aircraft, which can transport up to 300 kilograms of drugs, according to DIRCOTE.

A brutal adversary


In addition to smuggling narcotics, the Shining Path brutalizes the VRAEM's civilian population, including threatening villagers to gain their support.

“These Shining Path members use the women to have children while they are young and then force them to work in the fields,” Deputy Defense Minister Vega said.

The Shining Path also has kidnapped civilians, forcing them to work for the illegal group. In two joint operations in July, for example, the Armed Forces and police rescued 54 people, including 33 children, from “production camps” in the VRAEM. Shining Path terrorists raped some of the women and even girls as young as 12; some of the rape victims had babies who then grew up in the Shining Path's camp.

“One woman told us she has been captive for 30 years,” Gen. Baella said.

Military analyst Pedro Yaranga isn't surprised by the brutality. The Shining Path “continues to be a dangerous group that will take advantage of the complicated geographies of the Amazon and Peruvian mountain ranges,” he explained.

In addition to confronting the Shining Path with the Armed Forces and police, authorities are providing healthcare and social services to the civilian population victimized by the terrorist group. One of the ways the government is helping villagers in the VRAEM's remote areas is by sending Traveling Social Action Float (PIAS) vessels, which are supported by the Peruvian Navy and provide medical and dental care, social assistance, banking services, and medication to the needy.

“Violence is combated with opportunities for growth and development for the people living in these regions who have been suffering greatly,” Yaranga added.
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