Humala Reports High-Ranking Shining Path Leader Killed

President Ollanta Humala on Wednesday announced that Peru’s security forces killed a high-ranking commander from the remnants of the Shining Path rebels in the coca-growing region known as the VRAEM.

Humala said security forces killed a Shining Path leader known as “Comrade William” early Wednesday in the province of Huanta, in Peru’s southern Ayacucho region. “William”, identified as Rolando Cabezas, was believed to be fourth in Shining Path command and second in the group’s military command.

Humala said the Shining Path leader was about 43 years old and a sharpshooter who targeted police and military helicopters.  Said to be involved in attacks since the late 1990s, he is attributed with leading the recent ambush and killing of five soldiers near Satipo on August 15, and the attack much further south several months ago on a police helicopter that included the killing of police Capt. Nancy Flores.

“This is a hard hit against the terrorist organization in the VRAEM,” state news agency Andina reported Humala as saying. “This implies a fracture in the chain of command of these terrorists.”

Humala said that “William” was responsible for attacks on military bases, including a 2009 ambush that left 14 soldiers dead.

The Shining Path, a Maoist-inspired guerrilla group, waged a bloody conflict against Peru’s state in the 1980s and early 1990s. About 70,000 people were killed in that conflict, and some 46% of the deaths were attributed to the Shining Path, according to Peru’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

While the group was largely defeated with the capture of its leader, Abimael Guzman, in 1992, splinter groups have survived in isolated regions where they have profited from the cocaine trade.

In February, Peruvian police captured the leader of the Shining Path faction in the Upper Huallaga Valley, further north of the VRAEM.

However a few weeks later, the Shining Path remnants in the VRAEM killed several security personnel in a botched operation to rescue kidnapped natural gas workers.

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One Comment

  1. One for the good guys, now go get the rest of them send all your army after them anmd do not come home tilkl you have the last one

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