HomeNewsBriefShining Path Moves Command to New Territory
BRIEF

Shining Path Moves Command to New Territory

INFOGRAPHICS / 27 NOV 2012 BY HANNAH STONE EN

The faction of the Shining Path rebels based in the VRAE region of central Peru have moved their center of operations out of the increasingly militarized area, according to reports.

Military intelligence sources told Peru 21 that rebel leaders Victor and Martin Quispe Palomino, known by the aliases “Comrade Jose” and “Comrade Gabriel,” had recently been seen in Bajo Urubamba. The region is located outside the Apurimac and Ene River Valley (VRAE), where this branch of the guerrilla group has traditionally operated.

The newspaper reported that Comrade Jose was seen arriving with an armed escort in Bajo Urubamba, coming from Saltipo to the west, and that in August he had given satellite TV equipment to a community in Echarate.vrae map2

InSight Crime Analysis

Bajo Urubamba is located on the eastern edge of the VRAE in Echarate district, in the province of La Convencion, Cusco (see map).

The guerrilla group is facing increasing pressure in the VRAE from the authorities, with 10 new military bases set to start operating in December, and a further 16 planned. The government of Ollanta Humala has declared the region a top priority, and in June announced plans to increase state presence in the area, not only militarily but also through a series of new development projects. It will also add the Mantaro Valley to the zone, rebranding the area as the "VRAEM."

The Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso) has carried out some high-impact operations in Echarate in recent months, targeting companies working on the Camisea gas pipeline, which runs from gas fields further east in La Convencion. Most notable was the kidnapping of 36 gas workers in the village of Kepashiato in April. They were released soon after, but not before the rebels had killed eight soldiers and police who were on the rescue mission. Echarate only has 30 police officers to cover 17,000 sq kms, as Mayor Jose Rios told press after the abduction, making it an attractive location for the Shining Path. In October the rebels destroyed three helicopters belonging to Transportadora de Gas del Peru (TGP) on the Kiteni airstrip in Echarate.

Another factor driving the guerrillas to the east, deeper into La Convencion, is the growing importance of the Brazilian drug market. The province is located on a main route for transporting drugs out of the cocaine-producing VRAE and into Bolivia, from where they are shipped to Brazil. It is therefore a key strategic region for the Shining Path, which draws significant revenue from protecting cocaine shipments.

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

INFOGRAPHICS / 22 NOV 2013

In our previous posts in this series we aimed to understand the difficulties confronted by police reform in Venezuela. We…

BOLIVIA / 13 MAY 2021

Smuggling networks are feeding illegal mining operations across the Amazon Basin with mercury, despite global efforts to clamp down on…

ECUADOR / 8 JUL 2016

An investigation in Ecuador has revealed how the country has become a major transit hub for illegal Peruvian gold exported…

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…