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Friday, July 4

Shining Path seizes the political opportunity

Shining Path raids seen posing new threat in Peru: "On Tuesday night, a column of heavily armed Shining Path rebels fired shots into the air and intercepted two all-terrain vehicles, one of which was transporting a top regional official, on an isolated road in Peru's jungle. 'They held a gun to my head and then ordered us to lay on the ground. They were about 20 terrorists, led by a woman,' Antonio Adrianzola, one of the official's security guards, told Reuters in a telephone interview from northern Peru." MSNBC / Reuters Frankly, the actions carried out by Sendero are small beans when compared with what they used to do. A raid on a deserted police post, stopping vehicles on a jungle road, kidnapping workers on a jungle construction site, these forays are not going to threaten the government. The problem, however, is that the Toledo government is extremely weak now. Sendero has always known how to take advantage of the national political stage to amp up the reverberations of their actions. They saw the rising protests of the past two months as an opportunity that they seized on. A lot will depend on whether they can sustain the offensive and whether they can expand beyond their traditional haunts, in the coca-growing areas of Ayacucho and Huallaga.

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