HomeNewsBriefJailed Shining Path Leader Using Legal System as Political Platform
BRIEF

Jailed Shining Path Leader Using Legal System as Political Platform

PERU / 10 JAN 2013 BY ELYSSA PACHICO EN

In a surprise move, Peru’s Shining Path leader, alias “Comrade Artemio,” says he will no longer invoke his right to remain silent and will testify in court, after contracting a new lawyer who is also a leader in a political movement linked to the guerrilla group. 

Artemio, whose real name is Florindo Eleuterio Flores Hala, said that, on the advice of his new lawyer, he will now respond to questions as he faces down charges of terrorism, drug trafficking, and money laundering. The lawyer, Alfredo Crespo, is a secretary of the Leaders of the Movement for Amnesty and Fundamental Rights (Movadef), a political group that has been tied to the Shining Path. 

Crespo also represents the Shining Path’s top leader, Abimael Guzman, who was arrested in 1992 and is currently serving a life sentence. One of the stated aims of Movadef is Guzman’s release, which has caused significant controversy in Peru and sparked accusations that the political movement is a puppet of the Shining Path. Peru’s top anti-terrorism prosecutor said that Crespo’s decision to defend Artemio is one indication of the “direct relationship” between Movadef and the guerrilla group. Crespo has said that he met Artemio in the courtroom audience

Artemio has previously accepted responsibility for homicide charges in court, but said he would not accept any drug trafficking charges. 

Artemio was captured in February 2012 by the military. His arrest is thought to have to lead to the decimation of his Shining Path faction, which was primarily active in the Upper Huallaga Valley. Another faction remains active in the the mountainous Apurimac and Ene River Valley (VRAE) region.

Both groups draw taxes from coca production and cocaine processing in their areas of influence. The VRAE faction is wealthier and has more military might than the group once led by Artemio. 

InSight Crime Analysis

Crespo said that his client would speak in court so that the public “would know the truth of what happened in the Upper Huallaga and draw their own conclusions.” 

However, all of these actions seem more like political than legal maneuvering. Artemio is a hard line ideologue. His earlier decision to remain silent in court was most likely a symbolic move intended to express his rejection of the government. Likewise, his decision to answer questions during the trial will likely be used as an opportunity to reference the Shining Path’s political platform.

It is also likely that Crespo’s decision to represent Artemio will only add to Movadef’s troubles. The political movement was barred from registering as a formal party last year, and the government is currently considering a series of reforms that seem explicitly aimed at further weakening the party. 

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

COCA / 7 MAR 2019

A drop in coffee prices is forcing hundreds of Peruvian farmers to seek work in coca plantations-a sign that…

BOLIVIA / 19 SEP 2014

Authorities in Bolivia have identified a network of Peruvian coyotes dedicated to smuggling Dominicans into Chile, highlighting how economic changes…

PERU / 19 JUL 2012

A group of Shining Path guerrillas temporarily held over a dozen gas workers hostage in central Peru, which may have…

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…