The recent massacre of at least 16 people in the jungle town of San Miguel de Ene, deep in the Peruvian jungle, has shocked an entire country less than two weeks after deciding who will be the new president in the second return of elections marked by polarization.
The victims, all civilians and four of them minors , were shot to death and some of the corpses were found charred in a bar located in the territory of Vraem (Valley of the Apurímac, Ene and Mantaro rivers), an area of Peru in the middle of the jungle with extremely high rates of poverty where the largest coca and terrorist activity in the country is concentrated.
At least 14 dead in an attack by the Shining Path two weeks before the second round of the elections in Peru
At the scene of the crime, a small local bar, pamphlets appeared calling for “cleaning” Peru of “brothels, homosexuals, lesbian drug addicts and unruly individuals.” The leaflets also branded as “traitors and murderers of Peru and the Vraem” those who vote for Keiko Fujimori in the second round.
The pamphlets were signed by the Militarized Communist Party of Peru (MPCP) , a split from the Maoist terrorist organization Sendero Luminoso , which between 1980 and 2000 terrorized the country with its actions that caused the death of more than 30,000 people.
After the capture of its founder and leader Abimael Guzmán in 1992, the Shining Path, which practically functioned as a sect in the service of Guzmán, disbanded and lost strength until it was reduced to several minority cells.
However, Guzmán renounced violence while in captivity and does not recognize the MPCP, an organization that the Peruvian government continues to call the Shining Path. Since 2018, the MPCP has been the main communist terrorist group in the country with a significant presence in the Vraem region.
The Quispe Palomino reign of terror
The San Miguel de Ene massacre is the Shining Path’s biggest coup since 2008 , when the terrorist group attacked a military convoy, killing 19 people.
Now, the organization leads the Quispe Palomino clan , with Víctor -alias Comrade José- at the head after the death of his brother Jorge -alias Comrade Raúl- last January after a long kidney disease, although the army claims to have injured him in a fire exchange
The DEA has put a price on the head of Comrade José , whom it considers the leader of a narco-terrorist organization and imputes charges of material support to terrorists, belonging to a foreign terrorist organization and arms trafficking
Víctor Quispe Palomino, alias Comrade José.Víctor Quispe Palomino, alias Comrade José, in a photo distributed by the DEA.DEA
The MPCP operates in the dense and remote jungle of Vraem and sustains its activity on the income it obtains from drug trafficking , an activity for which it collaborates with local drug traffickers, sometimes in exchange for weapons.
According to sources cited by the Peruvian newspaper La República , the group had between 250 to 300 armed men and women , trained and with some type of military equipment in 2018.