Monday, 21 April 2014

Peru: Links between Movadef and Shining Path

While I was off piling up overtime, there was news in Peru of the connections between the political group Movadef and the remnants of the Shining Path terrorist organisation. Movadef works for the release of the imprisoned senderistas, including the leader Abimael Guzmán.

In mid-April, nearly 30 Movadef members were arrested for alleged ties to the Maoist guerrilla group following a two-year investigation into terrorism-financing activities. Among them was head of the movement and Guzmán's lawyer, Alfredo Crespo, and Walter Humala, a cousin of the Peruvian president Ollanta Humala. They may reportedly face long prison sentences of 30-35 years if the case against them is proven.

Crespo is accused of acting as a go-between for the imprisoned Guzmán and the top Sendero Luminoso leader on the outside, "Artemio", until the latter's capture in early 2012. He is also said to have lobbied for and received money from Artemio for Movadef.

The US has welcomed Peru's move. Movadef, naturally, sees itself as the target of politicial persecution.

Alfredo Crespo, líder de Movadef, y Walter Humala fueron capturados por financiamiento del terrorismo (La Republica)
Peru Police Arrest 24 for Alleged Ties to Terrorist Group (Wall Street Journal)
U.S. Supports Arrest of Movadef Members (Peruvian Times)
Movadef: Hasta 35 años de cárcel podrían recibir dirigentes capturados (
Movadef solicitó dinero a ‘Artemio’ para retomar lucha armada (El Comercio)

Update: Insight Crime points out that IDL Reporteros has criticised some of the reporting by El Comercio on the depth of links between Movadef and Shining Path. 

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