HomeNewsBriefChildren Rescued From Shining Path in Peru
BRIEF

Children Rescued From Shining Path in Peru

PERU / 31 JUL 2013 BY JAMES BARGENT EN

Security forces have rescued two children from the Shining Path guerrillas in Peru, drawing attention to the recruitment practices that have enabled the rebels to survive despite being severely weakened by years of military pressure.

The children, aged 9 and 11, were rescued thanks to intelligence that helped the army locate them in the province of Tayacaja, in the Huancavelica region of Peru.

The military immediately provided the minors with food and medical aid, as the pair were in found in a terrible physical state, reported local newspaper Correo de Prietto.

InSight Crime Analysis

The two children were discovered on the edge of the region known as the VRAEM — the Apurimac, Ene and Mantaro River Valley. The VRAEM is the heartland of the remaining faction of the Shining Path, which has utilized the zone’s lack of state presence and criminal opportunities — particularly from drug cultivation and trafficking — to take refuge from the security forces and finance their operations.

Conditions in the VRAEM have been one key to the Shining Path’s survival. Another, as illustrated by the case of the two children, has been their recruitment policy and support network.

The guerrillas, who are currently estimated to count on 130 active fighters, have maintained their numbers by recruiting extremely young children — known as pioneros (pioneers) — and grooming them for a career in the insurgency. As they are initially recruited at an age where they will be of little use in combat, the children work with and are cared for by the Shining Path’s extensive support network, which runs throughout the villages of the VRAEM, where the rebels hold more sway than the state.

This tactic is also being taken up by other guerrilla movements in Latin America, in particular the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Hit hard by years of military actions and desertions, the FARC have taken to focusing their recruitment efforts on minors from families of sympathizers and from regions where they — not the Colombian state — are the authorities.

Compartir icon icon icon

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.

Related Content

ILLEGAL MINING / 20 JAN 2017

Peru's government is targeting the illegal gold trade by declaring illegal mining an organized crime activity while launching a new…

BRAZIL / 20 FEB 2021

Drug traffickers engage in a creative game of hide and seek with coast guards and other security forces that board…

ENVIRONMENTAL CRIME / 9 NOV 2017

A new report into an emblematic case of timber trafficking in Peru highlights the corruption and fraud that continue to…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…