Shining Path Attack Kills One Soldier In VRAE

Days after President Ollanta Humala announced the capture of the head of the Shining Path remnants in the Upper Huallaga Valley, another rebel splinter group launched an attack on a military base that killed one army officer, newspaper El Comercio reported.

The attack by the Shining Path remnants occurred in the Apurimac and Ene river valley. Officials say that Capt. Germán Parra was killed and another soldier injured in the attack.

The VRAE is Peru’s top coca growing region, and is one of the zones where Shining Path remnants still operate, providing security to drug traffickers.

The other area where Shining Path has been operating  is the Upper Huallaga Valley, which is also a major coca growing region in Peru. Coca is the raw material used to make cocaine.

On Sunday, Humala announced that security forces had captured Florindo Flores, alias Artemio, who was the leader of the Shining Path in the Upper Huallaga. Artemio was the last remaining leader of the Shining Path’s central committee to be captured.

Based on preliminary investigations and data gathered over several years, Flores will be tried on charges of terrorism and of drug trafficking.

Both groups bear little resemblance to the original Shining Path, which was responsible for about 54 percent of the some 70,000 people killed during the conflict it launched in the 1980s and 1990s.

The head of Peru’s anti-drug agency, Carmen Masias, said Flores’ capture will facilitate its coca eradication and development programs in the Upper Huallaga.

“When we have triumphs against narcoterrorism… we know that we are going to work in situations that are more peaceful,” she said.

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