Peru to arm farmers to fight Shining Path
: "The government believes there are just 135 active Shining Path guerrillas in the area around Ayacucho -- what it calls the 'remnants' of what was once one of the most brutal rebel forces in Latin America, and says the group has enslaved women and children for logistical backup. Analysts estimate there are are up to 450 Shining Path militants still free across Peru, as well as hundreds more non-armed members who provide support. Thousands of rebels are in jail after a major offensive by now fugitive ex-President Alberto Fujimori all but stamped the group out in the 1990s." Reuters AlertNet
were largely responsible for defeating Sendero in the central Andes in the early and mid 1990s. Now the government is recurring to them again to stamp out reborn guerrilla activity in Ayacucho.
There was also a report of an attack on an Ayacucho mining camp
(Newsday / AP
), but witnesses said that the masked men seemed more like bandits than guerrilla. Sendero liked to raid mining camps for explosives. No matter what happened in this case, it's clear that Sendero has stepped up its activities in Ayacucho.