Armed Forces Capture 5 Suspected Rebels in Southern Peru

LIMA – Five suspected guerrillas were captured in the Valley of the Apurimac and Ene rivers, or VRAE, located in Peru’s southern Ayacucho region, the Armed Forces Joint Command said Wednesday.

The arrests were made on Monday and Tuesday by military patrols in different parts of the VRAE, an area where a state of emergency was declared two years ago due to the presence of drug traffickers and the remnants of the Shining Path guerrilla group, the command said.

A 72-year-old man was arrested in Acocro district, a 51-year-old man was detained in the town of Totobamba and a third man, whose age was not provided, was arrested in Orcohuasi.

A 60-year-old woman was captured in Huaychao, located in Acosvinchos district, and a 39-year-old woman was detained in Orcosita, located in Pacaycasa district, the command said.

The armed forces and National Police established a special command in the VRAE to carry out counterinsurgency operations targeting the Shining Path’s main “committees,” which are working jointly with drug gangs.

The Shining Path’s command, whose top leader is “Comrade Jose,” is now running its own drug organization, the top military commander in the VRAE, Gen. Leonel Cabrera, said last month.

The Shining Path’s remnants operate in the Upper Huallaga Valley under the command of Florindo Eleuterio Flores Hala, known as “Comrade Artemio,” and in the VRAE region under Victor Quispe Palomino, alias Comrade Jose.

The United States is offering rewards of up to $5 million each for information leading to the capture of Comrade Artemio and Comrade Jose.

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