HomeNewsBriefFalse Shining Path Claims Underline Problems Within Peru Media
BRIEF

False Shining Path Claims Underline Problems Within Peru Media

PERU / 18 APR 2014 BY MIMI YAGOUB EN

A an investigative media outlet in Peru has exposed a Peruvian newspaper for publishing false information regarding ties between the Shining Path rebel group and its political wing, Movadef, raising questions over whether it was carelessness or willful omission behind the newspaper's oversight.

Following the publication of El Comercio's April 16 edition with the headline "Our comrades must be freed for the armed struggle not to end," IDL Reporteros issued a report scolding the national newspaper for basing their accusations on testimony that had already been disproven when it first emerged.

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Shining Path 

El Comercio's story highlighted two alleged meetings in 2008, attended by Alfredo Crespo and Manuel Fajardo -- the recently arrested lawyers of jailed Shining Path leader Abimael Guzman and heads of the Movement for Amnesty and Fundamental Rights (Movadef) -- in which they appeared as members of the guerrilla group. The gatherings were reportedly to discuss how to strengthen Movadef in order to bolster attempts to secure the release of jailed guerrillas, as well as to arrange financial support from the rebels.

On April 16, InSight Crime reported on the El Comercio story.

As the IDL Reporteros report highlights, doubts over those claims saw a special detective from the Peruvian police's anti-terrorism unit (Dircote) assigned to the case. He concluded that Crespo could not have attended the first meeting because he was visiting a naval base where Guzman was imprisoned at the time, while guest records prove that Fajardo did not stay at the hotel El Comercio reported he had been collected from by guerrillas.

These documents were made public by the Ministry of Internal Affairs in early-2013, with Movadef immediately publishing them on its website.

The counter-expose comes a week after the arrest of 28 Movadef members for links to the guerrillas and receiving illicit funds.

InSight Crime Analysis

The report from IDL Reporteros paints a troubling picture of the state of Peru's media, which democracy advocacy NGO Freedom House has reported suffers from deep corruption and political pressure. The situation is exacerbated by the country's lack of an independent media regulatory body. 

In the report, IDL Reporteros highlights two possible reasons for the misinformation: the first suggests the paper's reporters did a poor job of verifying the information, a theory supported by the fact El Comercio's investigative unit had been dissolved recently beforehand, while the second suggests a willing omission of available information. 

While Movadef has previously been proven to receive funding from the Shining Path, the suggestion its leaders were acting as integrated members of the guerrilla group could have been important in the case against the arrested members, who currently face up to 35 years in prison.

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

BOLIVIA / 26 MAY 2015

Martin Belaunde was once the manager of President Ollanta Humala's unsuccessful presidential campaign in 2006, and the boyfriend of a…

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2015

A high-ranking official in Peru has suggested synthetic drugs will fill the void left by a shrinking market for cocaine,…

PERU / 12 AUG 2013

Peru's security forces have inflicted a blow against the country's Shining Path guerrilla insurgency after killing the rebels' second in…

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…