Four alleged Shining Path leaders captured by police

By November 28, 2023

Lima, Peru — The Peruvian Police and Army captured four high-ranking members of the remaining Shining Path guerrilla group on Sunday 12th. Among them was the son of the current leader of the organization, Víctor Quispe Palomino.

The capture took place on the night of November 12 during an intelligence operation in Mayapo, a locality in the Valley of the Apurimac, Ene, and Mantaro Rivers (VRAEM), a region known for cocaine production in central Peru. No shots were fired, and no one was injured during the police intervention, according to reports.

Authorities received information that a meeting of terrorists was planned in Mayapo to coordinate armed attacks against police and military installations.

The detainees include José Quispe, son of Víctor Quispe Palomino, the first member and general secretary of the so-called “Peru’s Militarized Communist Party” (a remnant group of the Shining Path). Iván Quispe, son of deceased guerilla leader Marco Antonio Quispe Palomino and Florabel Vargas, alias comrade “Vilma,” was also captured.

The other two detainees, Romeo Campos and Jheyson Ramos, are also children of Shining Path members.

Minister of Interior Vicente Romero stated, “This coordinated effort by the National Police, intelligence, and with the support of our Army has been an extremely successful operation. Operationally, it has been a severe blow to the Shining Path.”

Romero added, “As you can see, the four Shining Path members are children of terrorist parents, that’s clear.”

Capture of Shining Path terrorists in the VRAEM | Credit: Peruvian Army

According to the minister, the four captured individuals were involved in an attack that left seven police officers dead and one injured in the Cusco region in February of this year. Romero also stated that these terrorists took part in an ambush against a Navy and Police patrol in which a seaman died in December 2020.

Regarding the future of the detainees, the Specialized Prosecutor’s Office for Terrorism Crimes in Huánuco has opened an investigation for the alleged crime of “affiliation with a terrorist organization” against them.

The Shining Path guerilla group was responsible for the largest number of victims between 1980 and 2000 and has since transformed into a drug trafficking organization in recent decades. Currently, most of the Shining Path guerrilla leaders are either dead or in prison, but the military estimates that around 200 to 350 former combatants remain active in the VRAEM.

Peru’s Joint Command of the Armed Forces regularly conducts operations to combat the group.