Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 September 2014, 13:37 GMT

Country Reports on Terrorism 2011 - Peru

Publisher United States Department of State
Publication Date 31 July 2012
Cite as United States Department of State, Country Reports on Terrorism 2011 - Peru, 31 July 2012, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/501fbca62.html [accessed 17 September 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Overview: Peru's primary counterterrorism concern remained Sendero Luminoso (SL or Shining Path). Although Peru nearly eliminated SL in the 1990s, the organization is well-entwined with narcotics trafficking and remained a threat. The Upper Huallaga Valley (UHV) faction of SL was largely reduced, and in December the faction's leader publicly acknowledged defeat. Separately, the much larger and stronger rival SL faction in the Apurimac and Ene River Valley (VRAE) maintained its influence in that area. The two SL factions combined are believed to have several hundred armed members, while the number of its supporters in the urban areas is unknown. Although SL demonstrated less revolutionary dogmatism in its tactics than in the past, leaders continued to use Peruvian variations of Maoist philosophy to justify their illicit activities. Involvement in drug production and trafficking provided SL with funding to conduct operations, improve relations with local communities in remote areas, and recruit new members.

Government efforts to improve interagency cooperation, especially in intelligence, and to strengthen prosecutorial capacity were somewhat successful. Police units specializing in counterterrorism and counternarcotics conducted several joint operations with the Peruvian Army in the UHV. SL in the UHV did not conduct any major attacks against law enforcement or the military, but did kill five civilians it accused of being informants.

The Peruvian government's position has long been that prosecution of Artemio for terrorism and narcotics trafficking charges, upon his capture, would be non-negotiable, and this was reiterated on December 8, when the Ministers of Defense and Interior publicly stated the Humala government "would not negotiate" terms of surrender.

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) continued to use remote areas along the Colombian-Peruvian border to regroup and to make arms purchases. Peruvian government experts believed the FARC continued to fund coca cultivation and cocaine production among the Peruvian population in border areas, including instances of forced labor or killings related to cocaine production or trafficking.

2011 Terrorist Incidents: Together, the two factions of SL carried out 74 terrorist acts that killed five civilians in the UHV, and 14 members of the military in the VRAE. For the first time since 2003, there were no police casualties. The attacks included:

UHV Faction:

  • On January 7, SL killed a 43-year-old civilian and his 19-year-old son in Santo Domingo, Huacaybamba Province, Huanuco Region. The bodies were found with a sign written in red ink reading, "This is how informants die. Long Live President Gonzalo."

  • SL abducted a civilian from a party in Jose Crespo y Castillo, Leoncio Prado Province, Huanuco Region, took him to a bridge, and shot him. His body was found May 2 with a sign written in red ink reading, "This is how informants die, and delinquents who act in the name of the Party." The victim had reportedly been charging fines from people in the area and claiming to be collecting funds for SL.

VRAE Faction:

  • On July 27, SL intercepted and shot a 65-year-old civilian on a motorcycle in Jose Crespo y Castillo, Leoncio Prado Province, Huanuco Region. His body was found with a sign written in red ink reading, "This is how informants/traitors die. Long live the Peruvian Communist Party – Huallaga Base."

  • On December 12, SL conducted two apparently coordinated attacks. In the first attack, SL fired shots on a convoy. The driver of a military truck lost control and flipped his vehicle, dying from the impact. Four other soldiers were injured in the vehicle, and another soldier suffered bullet wounds. In the second attack, SL fired shots on a helicopter landing about 10 kilometers from the first site, wounding the pilot.

Legislation and Law Enforcement: President Humala continued reauthorizing 60-day states of emergency in parts of seven regions in the UHV and the VRAE where SL operated, giving the armed forces additional authority to maintain public order.

Authorities collected no biometrics information, and citizens of neighboring countries were allowed to travel to Peru by land using national identification cards only. There was no visa requirement for citizens of most countries in Western, Central, and Eastern Europe.

Police killed one and detained 162 suspected terrorists during the year.

SL founder and leader Abimael Guzman and key accomplices remained in prison serving life sentences on charges stemming from crimes committed during the 1980s and 1990s. About 550 people remained in prison in connection with terrorism convictions or charges. Many others have been released in recent years, having completed their sentences or been released on parole after serving three-fourths of their sentence. In October 2009, the Peruvian Congress passed legislation eliminating parole benefits for convicted terrorists, and in September, the Constitutional Tribunal, Peru's highest court, began reviewing a claim brought by the Movement for Amnesty and Fundamental Rights that the 2009 law was unconstitutional.

Peru participated in the Department of State's Antiterrorism Assistance program.

Countering Terrorist Finance: Peru is a member of the Financial Action Task Force of South America Against Money Laundering, a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body. In May, the Government of Peru announced a "National Plan to Combat Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing," which the International Monetary Fund supported. Following the inauguration of the Humala Administration on July 28, the Prime Minister and the Superintendent of Banks, Insurance, and Pension Funds (SBS) expressed commitment to implement this National Plan and to cooperate with the United States to fight financial crimes.

The Government of Peru has not established terrorist finance as a crime under Peruvian legislation in a manner that would conform to international standards. SBS advocated that Congress pass a bill to criminalize terrorist financing.

The U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network in April suspended cooperation with the SBS' Financial Intelligence Unit because of a leak of sensitive information published in the Peruvian press.

For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2011 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: http://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.

Regional and International Cooperation: Peru is an active member in the Organization of American States (OAS), the Union of South American Nations, the Andean Community, and participated in the OAS's Inter-American Committee Against Terrorism (CICTE) training and other events.

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