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

ELITES AND CRIME / 27 OCT 2014

A former police colonel and hero of Peru's internal conflict has been arrested for his alleged connections to the "Pablo…

PERU / 30 SEP 2011

Peru's government plans to spend $20 million on software which will allow the authorities to track the purchase and sale…

BOLIVIA / 26 SEP 2017

The arrest in Brazil of a wanted drug trafficker from Peru who was on the run for more than a…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution Met With Uproar

6 MAY 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime launched its latest investigation, Venezuela’s Cocaine Revolution¸ accompanied by a virtual panel on its findings. The takeaways from this three-year effort, including the fact that Venezuela…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela Drug Trafficking Investigation and InDepth Gender Coverage

29 APR 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime will be publishing The Cocaine Revolution in Venezuela, a groundbreaking investigation into how the Venezuelan government regulates the cocaine trade in the country. An accompanying event,…

THE ORGANIZATION

InDepth Coverage of Juan Orlando Hernández

22 APR 2022

Ever since Juan Orlando Hernández was elected president of Honduras in 2014, InSight Crime has provided coverage of every twist and turn during his rollercoaster time in office, amid growing…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution

15 APR 2022

On May 4th, InSight Crime will publish a groundbreaking investigation on drug trafficking in Venezuela. A product of three years of field research across the country, the study uncovers cocaine production in…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Widespread Coverage of InSight Crime MS13 Investigation

8 APR 2022

In a joint investigation with La Prensa Gráfica, InSight Crime recently revealed that four of the MS13’s foremost leaders had been quietly released from…