One officer dead and 11 injured in roadside ambush

One police officer is dead and 11 wounded after a police patrol was ambushed yesterday in the southern Ayacucho Department. The head of Peru’s anti-narcotics police, Gen. Miguel Hidalgo, confirmed that Officer Marisela Solier López, 21, was killed during the attack on a jungle road outside the city of Huamanguilla, Agencia Andina reported.

The ambush is attributed to drug traffickers from the Apurímac and Ene river valleys, VRAE, where the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime estimates some 30 percent of Peru’s coca leaf is cultivated, the raw material used to make cocaine.

Solier’s police patrol was allegedly targeted for preventing the movement of chemicals and narcotics in and out of the cocaine producing region via Huamanguilla.

Police are regularly targeted by groups connected to Peru’s growing drug trade. Between November and December last year, seven police officers were killed in three separate ambushes. The latest attack on police came in early March and left two officers dead in the country’s eastern jungle. Solier is reportedly the first female officer to be killed by drug traffickers.

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