Over the weekend Peruvian police captured the successor of Shining Path leader Florindo Flores , state news agency Andina reported.
Flores, alias Comrade Artemio, was captured last month in a joint police and military operation in the Upper Huallaga Valley, where he led one of the last two remaining splinter groups of the bloody Shining Path. The other group is located further south, in the Apurimac and Ene river valleys, or VRAE.
The VRAE and the Upper Huallaga Valley are Peru’s top growing regions for coca, the raw material used to make cocaine.
Flores was the last remaining member of the Shining Path’s central committee that had not been arrested or killed.
After his capture, Walter Diaz Vega allegedly took over as the leader of the remnants in the Upper Huallaga Valley. Diaz, alias Freddy or Percy, was captured over the weekend by police in the district of Jose Crespo y Castillo, located in Huanuco department, according to the director general of the national police, Raul Salazar.
“This person, who acted on the left margin of the Huallaga, is responsible for organizing an armed column after the capture of Artemio,” said Salazar.
Diaz Vega is being held at Peru’s Counter-Terrorism Office, Salazar said.