HomeNewsBriefPeru Arrests Show Shining Path Political Wing Still Seen as Threat
BRIEF

Peru Arrests Show Shining Path Political Wing Still Seen as Threat

PERU / 11 APR 2014 BY MARGUERITE CAWLEY EN

Authorities in Peru have arrested 28 people linked to the political wing of the Shining Path guerrillas on charges of terrorism, drug trafficking, and money laundering, in an escalation of the government's actions against the ostensibly unarmed political group.

According to Reuters, this is the first major move against the membership of the Movement for Amnesty and Fundamental Rights (Movadef), a group whose mission is to secure the release of jailed Shining Path leaders, including founder Abimael Guzman.

Authorities said the arrests were based on testimonies and phone conversations showing close ties between Movadef and the Shining Path's Huallaga Valley faction, and that investigations established the group spent $180,000 in establishing itself, funds they believe came from the faction's former leader, reported El Comercio.

SEE ALSO: Shining Path Profile

Among those arrested were two of Guzman's lawyers and Movadef founders, Manuel Fajardo and Alfredo Crespo, the latter of whom had previously served time on sedition charges; Walter Humala, a cousin of current President Ollanta Humala; and three members of Movadef's executive committee, reported Radio Programas Peru.

Authorities said the detainees were accused of terrorist links, financing terrorist activities with drug money, and money laundering.

InSight Crime Analysis

While none of the Movadef members arrested have been linked to any terrorist attacks, according to Reuters, the group has raised concerns in the past with talk of taking up arms. This, coupled with Movadef's ties to the Shining Path guerrillas and their perceived potential to infiltrate the country's politics, likely explains the government's desire to clamp down on the movement.

The Peruvian authorities have already demonstrated their desire to silence the movement: in 2012, Humala's government blocked Movadef's attempts to register as a legitimate political party, citing its lack of commitment to democracy. Movadef members, in turn, claimed they were being politically persecuted.

The latest arrests, appear to be taking the government's attempts to shackle Movadef to the next level, indicating they still see them as a threat even though the Shining Path faction they are tied to -- the Huallaga valley faction -- are all but exterminated in the field. 

Given Movadef is an extremist political movement with limited appeal, they are unlikely to be able to raise the funds needed for a political movement alone, making the accusations they turned to the Shining Path for financing highly plausible.

It is also plausible this money can be traced back to the drug trade. The Huallaga faction's last significant leader, the now imprisoned Florindo Eleuterio Flores Hala, alias "Comrade Artemio," has admitted his forces charged a "tax" on coca production, while other sources suggest their involvement went much deeper.

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.

Tags

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

CARTEL OF THE SUNS / 1 SEP 2022

InSight Crime charts the history of cocaine from agricultural extract to the basis of global criminal empires.

BRAZIL / 4 MAY 2021

Brazil, Colombia and Peru have deployed their armies to fight deforestation and other crimes in the Amazon rainforest.

COCAINE / 12 JAN 2023

Peru's largest seaport handles millions of tons of cargo annually, a fact that cocaine traffickers are using to their advantage.

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Europe Coverage Makes a Splash

20 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an analysis of the role of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport as an arrival hub for cocaine and methamphetamine from Mexico.  The article was picked up by…

THE ORGANIZATION

World Looks to InSight Crime for Mexico Expertise

13 JAN 2023

Our coverage of the arrest of Chapitos’ co-founder Ovidio Guzmán López in Mexico has received worldwide attention.In the UK, outlets including The Independent and BBC…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Shares Expertise with US State Department

16 DEC 2022

Last week, InSight Crime Co-founder Steven Dudley took part in the International Anti-Corruption Conference organized by the US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, & Labor and…

THE ORGANIZATION

Immediate Response to US-Mexico Marijuana Investigation

9 DEC 2022

InSight Crime’s investigation into how the legalization of marijuana in many US states has changed Mexico’s criminal dynamics made a splash this week appearing on the front page of…

THE ORGANIZATION

‘Ndrangheta Investigation, Exclusive Interview With Suriname President Make Waves

2 DEC 2022

Two weeks ago, InSight Crime published an investigation into how Italian mafia clan the ‘Ndrangheta built a cocaine trafficking network from South America to ‘Ndrangheta-controlled Italian ports. The investigation generated…