HomeNewsBriefPeru's Shining Path is Making a Comeback, Analyst Says
BRIEF

Peru's Shining Path is Making a Comeback, Analyst Says

PERU / 25 AUG 2016 BY MIMI YAGOUB EN

A politician in Peru is urging that the security forces be deployed to "stateless" drug transit areas where one analyst says Shining Path guerrillas are making inroads, a sign the group may be expanding its territorial reach after years of decline. 

Congressman Carlos Tubino said that the Peruvian military and police should be deployed to areas without a state presence, such as the Masisea district in Ucayali, a province in central Peru on the eastern border with Brazil, Diario UNO reported. Tubino is the representative for Ucayali and vice president of the Defense and Anti-Narcotics Commission in Congress.

The congressman's comments came in response to remarks by drug and terrorism expert Jaime Antezana that a faction of the Shining Path guerrilla group -- which has long been involved in drug trafficking activities -- has expanded into Masisea.

During an interview for Canal N, Antezana said that armed columns of the Shining Path's Quispe Palomina clan have been filtering into Masisea from the Apurimac, Ene and Mantaro River Valleys (VRAEM) region since September 2013. According to Antezana, the Masisea faction now numbers between 130 and 150 people -- which would equal just under half of the total Shining Path force -- and top commander Víctor Quispe Palomino, alias "Comrade José," is also currently in the area.

"This is a process of expansion, not withdrawal," he said.

SEE ALSO:  Shining Path News and Profile

The analyst said that one reason behind the Shining Path's apparent move into Ucayali is that coca cultivation has surged in certain areas of the province, citing government technicians working to combat illegal logging in the area.

Antezana explained that Ucayali is also an important drug trafficking hub, noting that Masisea has seen an increase in drug flights due to stepped-up aerial interdiction efforts in the VRAEM.

16-08-25-Peru-Map

InSight Crime Analysis

Following the decimation of the Shining Path in Peru's Upper Huallaga Valley in 2012, the guerrilla group's presence was believed to have been reduced to the VRAEM region, where it still taxes coca production. If Antezana's analysis is correct, however, the Shining Path is not only increasing its power following a steep decline, it could also be strengthening its role in the illicit drug trade.

The sheer logistics of deploying armed cells to establish operations in the very remote Brazilian border region would be proof that the Shining Path's military capacity is greater than what the government had previously predicted.

SEE ALSO:  Peru News and Profiles

Furthermore, its apparent decision to move into Ucayali likely means the guerrillas want to increase their trafficking role further. IDL Reporteros Director Gustavo Gorriti confirmed to InSight Crime that a new air trafficking route has opened up between the VRAEM region and Ucayali, although he did not comment on the possible guerrilla presence in the area. The latest United Nations report on coca in Peru also considers Ucayali to be a key aerial and fluvial drug transit region into Brazil.

Still, there may be reason to doubt Antezana's assertions. The UN figures state that Ucayali is actually one of the areas with the lowest amount of recorded coca cultivations in the entire country due to government eradication efforts.

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

COCAINE / 27 AUG 2014

Authorities in Peru have discovered at least 3.5 tons of cocaine that police say was destined to be shipped from…

ELITES AND CRIME / 21 AUG 2014

Authorities in Peru have announced the removal of over 300 political candidates with criminal records from upcoming elections, a decision…

CONTRABAND / 3 NOV 2020

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

About InSight Crime

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…

THE ORGANIZATION

Informing US State Department and European Union

1 APR 2022

InSight Crime Co-director McDermott briefed the US State Department and other international players on the presence of Colombian guerrillas in Venezuela and the implication this has for both nations.  McDermott…