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.

Compartir icon icon icon

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.

Related Content

BRAZIL / 19 MAY 2016

A recent survey found favela dwellers in Rio de Janeiro are more afraid of police than illegal militias and drug…

EL AZUL / 28 FEB 2014

The US Treasury has added an alleged Sinaloa Cartel member linked to drug lord Juan Jose "El Azul" Esparragoza Moreno…

PERU / 30 JUL 2015

Peru's president has declared that drug traffickers are no longer a "parallel power" in a major coca producing valley that…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…