HomeNewsBriefArrest of Shining Path Leader's Guard Suggests Govt is Closing In
BRIEF

Arrest of Shining Path Leader's Guard Suggests Govt is Closing In

PERU / 11 JAN 2012 BY GEOFFREY RAMSEY EN

The Peruvian government has arrested a member of "Comrade Artemio’s" security detail, suggesting that the Shining Path guerrilla leader is on the run and could soon be captured or killed.

On January 9, Peruvian National Police Commander Raul Salazar Salazar announced that officials had captured Marino Tapullima Tapullima two days earlier in the remote northern region of San Martin. Tapullima was allegedly a member of the security ring assigned to Florindo Flores Hara, alias “Comrade Artemio,” who leads one of the two remaining wings of the Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso) guerrilla group.

According to authorities, the arrest is a sign that they are closing the net around the Huallaga-based faction. Yesterday Peruvian cabinet chief Oscar Valdes told local media that he was certain Artemio would be captured soon, and would likely be followed by the leader of the southeast Apurimac Ene river valley (VRAE) faction, “Comrade Jose.”

InSight Crime’s Analysis

The announcement comes just a month after Artemio called for dialogue with the government, acknowledging that the Shining Path’s conflict with the Peruvian state has been a military failure. Security forces have also dealt a number of strong blows to Artemio in recent months, capturing his girlfriend and cracking down on his group’s support from local coca growers.

If the government’s claims about Tapullima’s ties to Artemio are true, it could mean that the guerrilla leader's peace offer was spurred by an awareness that his organization is on its last legs, and is an effort to avoid being killed or arrested.

The precedent for those in the Shining Path chief's shoes is not promising. In neighboring Colombia, Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) commander-in-chief “Alfonso Cano” died just four months after the army killed several members of his security detail. Considering the emphasis that Peruvian President Ollanta Humala has placed on increasing security in the country, it is very likely Artemio will meet the same fate.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

INFOGRAPHICS / 7 FEB 2012

A group of alleged Shining Path rebels attacked a police station in the department of Cusco, injuring two police officers.

ELITES AND CRIME / 16 NOV 2014

One of Peru's most-wanted men has been captured in Colombia and deported marking a leap forward in a high profile case…

PERU / 31 JUL 2014

Peru's National Police have arrested a man identified as one of the country's most wanted criminals and the leader of…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Tackles Illegal Fishing

15 OCT 2021

In October, InSight Crime and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) began a year-long project on illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Featured in Handbook for Reporting on Organized Crime

8 OCT 2021

In late September, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) published an excerpt of its forthcoming guide on reporting organized crime in Indonesia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Probing Organized Crime in Haiti

1 OCT 2021

InSight Crime has made it a priority to investigate organized crime in Haiti, where an impotent state is reeling after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, coupled with an…

THE ORGANIZATION

Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.

THE ORGANIZATION

Series on Environmental Crime in the Amazon Generates Headlines

17 SEP 2021

InSight Crime and the Igarapé Institute have been delighted at the response to our joint investigation into environmental crimes in the Colombian Amazon. Coverage of our chapters dedicated to illegal mining…