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Peru: Journalists find narcoterrorists in the VRAE
Two of the terrorists encountered (Photo: Sebastián Castañeda/ El Comercio)
By Nick Rosen
April 18, 2012
For nine days, ever since 36 gas workers were taken hostage, over a thousand military and police personnel have converged on the area around Alto Lagunas, Cusco, in pursuit of the Shining Path column that was responsible. Nonetheless, it was a team of reporters from El Comercio, La Republica and Panamericana TV that found the terrorists. They weren’t even looking for them.
The journalists were looking for a police helicopter which had been downed before the hostages were freed last Saturday. They found it, but on the way, they crossed paths with the terrorist column led by Martín Quispe Palomino, alias Comrade Gabriel. Quispe is the younger brother in a clan that controls Shining Path’s forces in the VRAE.
Quispe claimed that his column had ambushed forces nearby, where the journalists reported finding military helmets, clothing and other debris from the battle. “Right there, there were many deaths, many injured. Even [President] Ollanta Humala recognizes that it was an ambush,” Quispe said.
Two police officers are officially missing, though Quispe claimed that they had been “annihilated.”
Quispe seemed to taunt the armed forces. “They say, ‘Your time has come, because now we have Mi-35 helicopters, with which we will exterminate you.’ No, brothers. For us, the bombardments and rocket attacks are just like gull droppings, hummingbird droppings. I ask myself what effectiveness they have in this war? Those wretches are brave in the air, but are cowards on the ground.”
Due to extensive ties between the Shining Path under the Quispe Palomino family and the global cocaine trade, the U.S. government has offered up a $5 million reward for the capture of Martín Quispe Palomino.
“Now they offer the campesinos millions of dollars for our capture. With what objective? To turn them into informers, spies and cannon fodder. That is the objective of these Chileanized, wretched armed forces,” Quispe said.
According to El Comercio, Defense Minister Alberto Otárola downplayed the importance of the encounter, asking the media not to play into the terrorists’ “game.”
Meanwhile, residents near Altos Lagunas have complained about the heavy-handed military presence. One told El Comercio that the army had confiscated her radio, while other residents decided to leave the area to avoid being caught in aerial bombardments.
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Total coments: 1
Commented By: jimmyjames
On: April 19, 2012. 11:53 am
Cut off the head of the snake and it grows 5 MORE!!!!! SPEND BILLIONS fighting a war that CAN NOT be won!!! DECRIMINALIZE and take control SWIFTLY.......
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