Photo: Shining Path
Peru’s armed forces rescued nine captives from a column of Shining Path guerrillas in the central region of Junin, the defense ministry said.
The prisoners included women in their 60s and three young children, the ministry said.
The rescue operation was part of the government’s efforts to consolidate the pacification of the territory the military has designated as the Valley of the Apurimac, Ene and Mantaro Rivers, or VRAEM, where remnants of Shining Path remain active, Deputy Defense Minister Ivan Vega said.
The government aims to promote productive development in the VRAEM and the military campaign will continue until the guerrillas are eradicated, Vega said.
More than 100 personnel took part in the rescue mission, the military’s head of counter-terrorism, Jose Baella, told Canal N television.
Several of the older captives spent 30 years in the hands of Shining Path, according to Baella, who said the prisoners had been snatched from villages and forced to tend farms that provided provisions for the rebels.
The captives were rescued in the course of the pursuit of a Shining Path unit that was on the move, he said.
The Maoist-inspired Shining Path insurgency erupted in 1980 and killed tens of thousands of people before its core elements were smashed in 1992.
Authorities accuse the surviving Shining Path units of having joined forces with drug cartels.