Thursday, 26 June 2008

Shining Again

While Peru is opening up its mass graves as it tries to set aside its past, the Shining path, the sanguinary terrorist group that haunted the country for 20 years, is back again. Meanwhile the president of the time Alberto Fujimori looks probable to rot for 30 years on an island prison that he himself built during his reign of mafia tentacles.

Putis, Ayacucho, South East Peru, forensics are digging up the remains from a clandestine burial ground. They expect to find 120 bodies. On the side are the families of the relatives held missing for 20 years, they hope this time they will find them. On the edge of the excavation the army stands guard holding AK-47s. Yet they are not here to inspect. They are here to protect. This is one of Peru’s prime cocaine routes. But aside from armed drug mules there is a much more sinister prospect lurking in the rainforest.

Maoist terrorist group Sendero Luminoso, The Shining Path has followed in the lines of the Colombian Farc and made a deadly alliance with the Narco-traffickers of the area in order to fund their revival. In the shadows of the rainforest cocaine production is booming. Sendero is quietly reconstituting itself, creating its headquarters here in the country’s main centre for cocaine production, the Apurimac valley. They are ramping up cocaine production and distribution in order to set the stage for a renewed conflict against the Peruvian government. Already in the past six months skirmishes have been reported.


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