HomeNewsBriefThough Peru Destroys Trafficking Airstrips, Shining Path Still Profits
BRIEF

Though Peru Destroys Trafficking Airstrips, Shining Path Still Profits

PERU / 12 JUN 2015 BY SAM TABORY EN

The Peruvian military has stepped up its efforts to destroy remote airstrips used for drug trafficking in a key rebel area, but the offensive has had little effect on the Shining Path's ability to profit from the drug trade. 

 Military forces in Peru have intensified efforts to curb cocaine trafficking in one of Peru's largest coca production regions, in the Apurimac, Ene and Mantaro River Valleys (VRAEM), by destroying more than 120 airstrips since March, reported El Comercio. As options for transporting shipments of cocaine via air become more restricted, traffickers have resorted to more traditional methods of trafficking, moving drugs on foot across rough terrain in groups of up to 20 men called 'cargachos' or 'mochileros.' The Shining Path is reportedly being contracted to provide security for these human caravans. 

The Shining Path, which has long operated in the VRAEM, has in recent years deepened its involvement with the drug trafficking industry in the region. It is now believed that the group derives a majority of its income from regulating and "taxing" the cocaine leaving the region and by providing security and caravan protection services for drug shipments. Even with traffickers looking for alternative routes, the Shining Path is still able to profit as they provide security for shipments no matter how they leave the region.

InSight Crime Analysis 

The flexible nature of the services that the Shining Path provides drug traffickers is proving to be a challenge for the Peruvian military, making for a difficult game of cat and mouse. It appears that the taxation and service provision structure the Shining Path has established in relation to drug trafficking in the VRAEM allows them to profit no matter the military's tactical posture. 

This latest revelation about how the Shining Path is connected to drug networks in Peru comes on the heels of an announcement from the US Treasury blacklisting the group as a 'significant foreign narcotics trafficker' in addition to the rebels' longstanding designation as a terrorist organization under US law. A recent report alleged connections between the Shining Path and a group of Colombian drug traffickers, which combined with the US narcotics designation indicates the Shining Path is now a major drug trafficking organization. 

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

PERU / 7 NOV 2011

Peru has extended a state of emergency that imposes military rule in a region known as the VRAE, which is…

PERU / 5 MAR 2012

Authorities in Peru say they have arrested the presumed successor to Shining Path leader "Comrade Artemio," who was captured in…

COCA / 6 FEB 2014

The Peruvian government has announced plans to attempt major coca eradication in the VRAEM region for the first time this…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Apure Investigation Makes Headlines

22 OCT 2021

InSight Crime’s investigation into the battle for the Venezuelan border state of Apure resonated in both Colombian and Venezuelan media. A dozen outlets picked up the report, including Venezuela’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Tackles Illegal Fishing

15 OCT 2021

In October, InSight Crime and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) began a year-long project on illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Featured in Handbook for Reporting on Organized Crime

8 OCT 2021

In late September, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) published an excerpt of its forthcoming guide on reporting organized crime in Indonesia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Probing Organized Crime in Haiti

1 OCT 2021

InSight Crime has made it a priority to investigate organized crime in Haiti, where an impotent state is reeling after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, coupled with an…

THE ORGANIZATION

Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.