Peru: Sendero Luminoso attacks spread
On July 4, Sendero Luminoso guerillas attacked the Peruvian army's Counter-terrorist Base Number 42 at Canayre, Huanta province, Ayacucho region, in the Apurímac-Ene River Valley (VRAE), leaving one solider dead. On June 29, in a rare attack outside the VRAE, Sendero guerillas attacked Counter-terrorist Base Number 43 at Cachibamba Grande, Pampas Tayacaja province, Huancavelica region, leaving one soldier wounded. (Notimex, July 4; Correo, RPP, June 29)
The VRAE, a pocket of jungle on the fringe of the Amazon rainforest, is one of the last two small areas of Peru that still has an active Sendero insurgency, along with the Upper Huallaga Valley, another high jungle region to the northwest. Cachibamba Grande is in the far more populated central highlands, well outside the high jungle zone.
On June 26, Florindo Eleuterio Flores Hala AKA "Comrade Artemio," the Upper Huallaga Sendero leader captured earlier this year, was formally charged with narco-trafficking and the deaths of 150 people. Prosecutors charged that Artemio ran a cocaine laboratory at Santa Rosa de Mishollo, San Martín region, in the VRAE, which produced five tons of the refined drug each month. Artemio was captured in a raid on the lab by security forces in February. (EFE, June 26)