HomeNewsBrief39 Women, Children 'Rescued' from Peru's Shining Path
BRIEF

39 Women, Children 'Rescued' from Peru's Shining Path

GENDER AND CRIME / 28 JUL 2015 BY DAVID GAGNE EN

Authorities in Peru say security forces have rescued a record number of women and children from the Shining Path, drawing attention to the insurgent group's alleged recruitment practices.

Peru's Vice Minister of Defense Ivan Vega said special forces rescued 26 children and 13 women, who were being held captive by the Shining Path in the tri-river valley region known as the VRAEM, reported El Comercio. A Peruvian official said this was the largest number of minors that had ever been recovered from a Shining Path camp, reported The Telegraph.

Vega stated some of the women were kidnapped 25 years ago from a convent and were forced to have sex with rebel militants, according to EFE. "Many of the children who were born [in the camp] were the result of Shining Path members raping the women," Vega said.

The head of Peru's Counter-Terrorism Directorate, General Jose Baella Malca, said the minors who were rescued represent one-third of all the children being held by the Shining Path, reported La Republica.

InSight Crime Analysis

The Shining Path has been severely weakened in recent years -- authorities have killed or arrested a number of their top leaders, and the VRAEM counts as the rebel group's last remaining stronghold. In response to these pressures, the recruitment of children (who are known as "pioneers") has reportedly become a key tactic that has enabled the rebel group to sustain its forces. 

SEE ALSO: Shining Path News and Profile

The operation is one indication of the security forces' ongoing campaign against the Shining Path's grip in their stronghold, the VRAEM. Peru was forced to abandon its coca eradication program in the VRAEM last year due to the security risks posed by the rebel group, and authorities have long struggled to establish a strong state presence in the remote jungle region.

Other rebel groups in Latin America such as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) have also turned to child recruitment as a way to support their cause. In fact, the recruitment of children is popular among criminal groups throughout the region because they are seen as a source of highly dispensable human labor.

Correction: A previous version of this article stated that the operation highlighted the "exploitative" means by which the Shining Path maintains its ranks. We have modified this due to lack to testimony thus far from the women and children found at the camp.

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

EXTORTION / 7 MAR 2012

Two Lima gangs have reignited their struggle for control of the city's extortion rackets, according to Peruvian media, prompting fears…

ARGENTINA / 27 JUL 2021

Drug charges against a woman in Argentina were dropped after prosecutors learned that she had agreed to be a drug…

PERU / 13 MAR 2013

Police in Lima have reported capturing a small-time supplier of ketamine, highlighting the rising popularity of synthetic drugs in…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Who Are Memo Fantasma and Sergio Roberto de Carvalho?

24 JUN 2022

Inside the criminal career of Memo Fantasma  In March 2020, InSight Crime revealed the identity and whereabouts of Memo Fantasma, a paramilitary commander and drug trafficker living in…

THE ORGANIZATION

Environmental and Academic Praise

17 JUN 2022

InSight Crime’s six-part series on the plunder of the Peruvian Amazon continues to inform the debate on environmental security in the region. Our Environmental Crimes Project Manager, María Fernanda Ramírez,…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Series on Plunder of Peru’s Amazon Makes Headlines

10 JUN 2022

Since launching on June 2, InSight Crime’s six-part series on environmental crime in Peru’s Amazon has been well-received. Detailing the shocking impunity enjoyed by those plundering the rainforest, the investigation…

THE ORGANIZATION

Duarte’s Death Makes Waves

3 JUN 2022

The announcement of the death of Gentil Duarte, one of the top dissident commanders of the defunct Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), continues to reverberate in Venezuela and Colombia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Cattle Trafficking Acclaim, Investigation into Peru’s Amazon 

27 MAY 2022

On May 18, InSight Crime launched its most recent investigation into cattle trafficking between Central America and Mexico. It showed precisely how beef, illicitly produced in Honduras, Guatemala…