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

CONTRABAND / 3 NOV 2020

A sizeable seizure of adulterated rum shipped to Honduras from Europe reveals the extent to which black markets for alcohol…

BRAZIL / 26 JUL 2022

Indigenous communities in Brazil are using drones to fight deforestation and the frequent assaults of loggers on their lands.

BOLIVIA / 13 AUG 2021

The US Coast Guard unloaded 27 tons of cocaine after a three-month operation in the Pacific and Caribbean, a massive…

About InSight Crime

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Extensive Coverage of our Chronicles of a Cartel Bodyguard

23 SEP 2022

Our recent investigation, A Cartel Bodyguard in Mexico’s 'Hot Land', has received extensive media coverage.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime, American University Host Illegal Fishing Panel

19 SEP 2022

InSight Crime and the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University discussed the findings of a joint investigation on IUU fishing at a September 9 conference.

THE ORGANIZATION

Impact on the Media Landscape

9 SEP 2022

InSight Crime’s first investigation on the Dominican Republic made an immediate impact on the Dominican media landscape, with major news outlets republishing and reprinting our findings, including in …

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Sharpens Its Skills

2 SEP 2022

Last week, the InSight Crime team gathered for our annual retreat in Colombia, where we discussed our vision and strategy for the next 12 months.  During the week, we also learned how to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Colombia’s Fragile Path to Peace Begins to Take Shape

26 AUG 2022

InSight Crime is charting the progress of President Gustavo Petro’s agenda as he looks to revolutionize Colombia’s security policy, opening dialogue with guerrillas, reforming the military and police, and…