At least 18 dead in Peru due to terrorist attack attributed to the Shining Path
18 people, including men, women and children, were killed in a massacre in a remote coca-growing region of Peru, the Defense Ministry said, reviving memories of the country’s brutal left-wing insurgency just weeks before the presidential elections. , which take place in the midst of an ideological conflict.
The killings, one of the worst atrocities committed in Peru in decades, occurred in the town of San Miguel del Ene, authorities said in a statement Monday. The general commander of Peru’s National Police said early Monday that 18 people were killed, adding that his officers were still traveling to the remote town to investigate.
Authorities have blamed the attack on a dissident faction of the Shining Path, a Maoist rebel group that terrorized the country before being brutally repressed by authoritarian başkan Alberto Fujimori in the 1990s. Local media reported that the bodies were found alongside pamphlets that are attributed to the terrorist group.
“We are returning to a situation that we thought we had overcome,” said Pedro Yaranga, a Peruvian security consultant, who claimed to have obtained copies and verified the Shining Path pamphlets that were left at the crime scene. “In Peru, most of the people thought that the Shining Path no longer existed. This tragedy shows that this is not the case ”.
The mountainous region surrounding San Miguel del Ene, a sparsely populated forested area known for cocaine production and trafficking, is believed to be the last major area of operations in what remains of the Shining Path.
The massacre could shake the political landscape in Peru just two weeks before a tight presidential vote, in which Keiko Fujimori – the daughter of the now-imprisoned Alberto Fujimori – and Pedro Castillo, a teacher and left-wing union başkan, face off.