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Wednesday, June 11

MSNBC/AP Hostages freed, but is Peru free of Shining Path?: "Sociologist Raul Gonzalez, who has studied the guerrilla group for more than a decade, said Shining Path now sees farmers of coca leaf, the raw material for cocaine, as a key power base. Officials want to eradicate illegal coca in a U.S.-backed anti-drug fight in Peru, the world's No. 2 cocaine producer. 'Shining Path wants to get out and defend coca farmers and develop a base of support,' Gonzalez said. Analysts say the group also wants to take advantage of a recent court ruling that could grant civilian trials to hundreds of rebels locked up after summary military trials years ago." This article says that Sendero's work with coca growers is a new development, but this goes back to the late 1970s when Abimael Guzman was planning the start of "armed struggle." I think the reporters is really putting words into Raul Gonzalez's mouth, because I know that he is well aware of SL's history.

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