Security forces have launched a major operation against remaining Maoist Shining Path militants who authorities say are acting as “bodyguards” for drug traffickers
The president of Peru Dina Boluarte vowed on Monday to crush “narco-terrorism” in remarks at the funeral of seven police officers who were killed Saturday in an ambush, in an area where drug traffickers operate in collaboration with remaining rebels of the Maoist Shining Path organization.
The officers were patrolling a remote wooded area known by the acronym VRAEM, or “valley of cocaine” — because it is estimated that three-quarters of the country’s cocaine is produced there.
It was the deadliest attack on police officers in a decade, according to Peru’s interior ministry.
“My government has mandated a frontal confrontation with this alliance of terrorists and drug traffickers in the VRAEM and throughout the territory,” Bolluarte said, expressing her full support for Peru’s police and armed forces. “We will not tolerate more deaths, more violence,” he added.
In this particular area, the security forces have launched a major operation against the remaining rebels of the Bright Path Maoist organization who, according to the authorities, act as “bodyguards” for drug traffickers.
The Shining Path has waged a decades-long guerrilla war in Peru, where the toll of clashes with the country’s armed forces has left at least 69,000 dead and missing.
Saturday’s deadly ambush took place while President Bolluarte is facing with episodic demonstrations which have claimed the lives of at least 60 people in the space of two months. The protesters are calling for the resignation of Boluarte, the dissolution of Congress, the holding of early elections, the change of the Constitution and the release of former President Pedro Castillo.
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