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. 

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

PERU / 25 JUL 2013

Shining Path guerrillas torched 20 vehicles belonging to a construction company in Peru that had refused to pay protection money,…

BRAZIL / 31 AUG 2012

Brazilian police, working with their Peruvian counterparts, have conducted coca eradication operations in Peru as the Latin American superpower steps…

GENDER AND CRIME / 26 FEB 2013

A newspaper's undercover investigation reveals the extent of sex trafficking in Peru, visiting a gold mining town where up to…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Gender and Investigative Techniques Focus of Workshops

26 NOV 2021

On November 23-24, InSight Crime conducted a workshop called “How to Cover Organized Crime: Investigation Techniques and A Focus on Gender.” The session convened reporters and investigators from a dozen…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Names Two New Board Members

19 NOV 2021

In recent weeks, InSight Crime added two new members to its board. Joy Olson is the former executive director of the Washington Office on Latin America…

THE ORGANIZATION

Senate Commission in Paraguay Cites InSight Crime

12 NOV 2021

InSight Crime’s reporting and investigations often reach the desks of diplomats, security officials and politicians. The latest example occurred in late October during a commission of Paraguay's Senate that tackled…

THE ORGANIZATION

Backing Investigative Journalism Around the Globe

5 NOV 2021

InSight Crime was a proud supporter of this year's Global Investigative Journalism Conference, which took place November 1 through November 5 and convened nearly 2,000 journalists…

THE ORGANIZATION

Tracking Dirty Money and Tren de Aragua

29 OCT 2021

InSight Crime was delighted to support investigative reporting in the Americas through a workshop with our friends at Connectas, a non-profit journalism initiative that facilitates collaboration…