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Thread: Peru & Sendero Luminoso (merged thread)

  1. #21
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Peru: no press interest

    Why isn't there more attention to this in the international press?
    Simple IMHO like many parts of the world there is little constant coverage of such places as Peru, look at the campaigning over Darfur, or the lack of attention to the famine in Ethiopia or Somalia until newsreel film shocked a few, Western audiences.

    Many press agencies have reduced their overseas presence and others rely on locally taken footage (not voices) before committing their own resources.

    I understand that other parts of the international press watch the world differently, such as Spain in Latin America and France with some it's former colonies. How does Japan now report on Peru?

    Reporting aside it is too easy to label countries such as Peru as disasters and what will change? Look at the thread on Zimbabwe as an example.
    davidbfpo

  2. #22
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    Default Is it a nightmare of our making?

    http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/t...rists?page=0,0

    Peru's "narco-terrorists" bring economic boom

    HUANTA, Peru ó The Communist hammer-and-cycle adorns the black-and-green uniforms of the Shining Path guerrillas here, as well as the flags flying over their jungle encampments. But the main activity of the group is not ambushing military patrols and outposts, it is managing the areaís booming cocaine trade. Their real symbol ought to be the dollar sign.
    The Shining Path appear to be practicing a new form of communism that has a capitalist flare, yet it the party maintains control. Much like their Maoists in China, but Shining Path being a non-state actor must rely on the illicit economy.

    The government knows whatís going on, but is limited in what it can or is willing to do. Until a few months ago, the National Police were in charge of fighting the drug traffic. But after attacks by Senderistas grew more bold and destructive, they were replaced by the army. In the boldest attack yet, in April a Sendero band attacked a military garrison and killed 15 soldiers near here. Sendero uses homemade land mines, grenades, and modern automatic weapons bought with the revenue from their drug sales.

    Carlos Bassombio, an analyst in Lima, said the biggest problem facing Peru is not the armed insurrection represented by the remnants of Sendero Luminoso, but the increasingly ubiquitous narcotics trafficking in the country and the endemic corruption it engenders. Low-paid policemen are easily corrupted, and farmer and their families are easily attracted to the kind of wages paid by traffickers.
    I saw an interesting debate on Intelligence Squared two nights ago about the drug war in Mexico and whether or not the U.S. government was to blame for the war.

    http://intelligencesquaredus.org/ind...icos-drug-war/

    Both side had some very credible debaters (former Mexican politicians, academic experts, former director of the DEA, etc.), and the audience who determined the winner was largely undecided at the beginning of the debate, and at the end they largely sided with team that argued that the U.S. was to blame based on our war on drugs, which in short was based on the fact that we created an illicit market by making it a war versus a health problem. Several parallels to prohibition were drawn, when it was outlawed, it supported the raise of organized crime in the U.S.. This is always an emotional topic on SWJ, but the historical record speaks for itself. Our war on drugs is a major failure, and IMO has only increased the scale of the global black economy, which in turns fuels insurgencies and terrorist movements. We need the political courage to seriously challenge this so called war on drugs, and consider some radical paradigm shifts in our approach. Unfortunately we have a McCarthy like atmosphere in our government when it comes to the war on drugs, and it is political suicide to challenge the failed status quo. I personally wish we could kill everyone associated with pushing this poison to our kids, but we can't, and our approach is only further undermining our national security without putting a dent in the drug trade.

    What's the danger to U.S. interests in Peru? The same as it is everywhere else, the large black economy enables the non-state actor to effectively challenge the State's control and further destabilize not only the region but the global order.

    John Youle, an American who has lived in Peru for many years and publishes a popular newsletter on politics and the economy, believes Peru is not far from becoming another Mexico in terms of the violence emanating from the drug traffic. ďYouíre getting increasing violence," Youle said. "This could get quite a bit worse.Ē

  3. #23
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    Default Changes in SL

    There are a couple major changes for the new SL which makes it dangerous. It has fully embraced narco-trafficking and has shifted to a FARC model which allows it to purchase better equipment. This same strategy increased the size and capability of the FARC.

    The second change is SLís move toward a kinder gentler insurgency. SL has been launching some pretty serious attacks on police and military units but unlike its campaign in the 90s it is not inflicting massive violence on the general population. In fact it is using increased drug money profits to do civic projects and buy supplies from locals. This is dangerous because in the 90s SLís violence against the people helped spawn the rondas campesinas which were essential in the defeat of SL. Now the RC guys (many of them are cocaleros) are less inclined to put their neck out to fight a more benevolent SL.

    As far as this becoming a larger conflict, I think that depends on if the Peruvian government can fix some of their intel problems and hunt down SLís units. However, more importantly it depends on if they can bring a whole of government approach to the VRAE and Huallaga which still live in disconnected poverty.

  4. #24
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    The Shining Path appear to be practicing a new form of communism that has a capitalist flare, yet it the party maintains control. Much like their Maoists in China, but Shining Path being a non-state actor must rely on the illicit economy.

    Yep, I have heard it called "Corporate Communism" and it can be deadly against Banker Based Capitalism. It is closer to what the original US Founding Fathers had in mind as opposed to Banking Kleptocracy we have now. So it will tend to have broad popular support

  5. #25
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    Default Eminently predictable +

    These developments of SL were eminently predictable - indeed they were predicted by me and others in stuff published during the 90s and early 2000s. What is interesting to me is that during the last round of SL many analysts both govt and non, were trying to argue that SL was selling drugs for guns when it wasn't happening. the demise of Guzman left the SL Huallaga Regional Command free to follow its own lead and emulate the FARC which it did - bringing to fruition the self-fulfilling prophecy of guns fro drugs. Mike B has a real good handle on what is happening now.

    John Youle is an old friend. He was DCM at the US embassy in Lima in 1986; went from there to be POLAD in SOUTHCOM and retired to Peru. John is one of the best observers of the country. On the academic side, see work by Henry Dietz (U of Texas at Austin), Cynthia Mc Clintock (george Washington U) and David Scott Palmer (Boston U).

    Cheers

    JohnT

  6. #26
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Pointer to Youle

    John Youle's company website is: http://www.consultandes.com/ and I failed to readily locate his newsletter.
    davidbfpo

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    Default Sendero Luminoso

    Military Review just published an article I put together on Sendero Luminoso's resurgence in Peru.

    Summary:
    The decapitation of Sendero Luminoso (SL) in conjunction with the use of local security forces and a whole-of-government approach allowed Peru to defeat SL in the 1990s. A failure to follow through with the benefits of government services and a lack of pressure by security forces has allowed SL to regroup. In order to achieve a lasting victory the Peruvian government must address the foundations of insurgency: the intransigent insurgent leadership and the welfare of the population. Peruís current challenges provide an admonition to the US in its current efforts to consolidate gains in Iraq and in support of other allies facing insurgency.

    The full article is available here
    http://usacac.army.mil/CAC2/Military...031_art011.pdf

    Since the time when I originally wrote the piece I think there has been considerable progress in the renewal of Peruvian intelligence and targeting capabilities. The Huallaga column has taken considerable losses through effective operations. There has also been some discussion on bringing back local defense forces.

    I also think Peru's current problems are important for us to look at as we move forward in (or pull back from) Iraq and Colombia.

    Mike Burgoyne

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    Default Question

    Mike,

    I haven't read your article yet (I will), but I was under the impression that SL remerged largely as a criminal insurgency this time, with little of the original ideology they had originally. My question is even though they have the same name, or they really fighting for the same issues?

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    Default Ideology still there

    Actually, I argue that SL remains a communist organization that now funds its operations with drug money. I believe this because unlike traditional drug trafficking organizations (DTO) they are not trying to lay low and maintain their business. Instead they launch large scale attacks on police and military patrols and installations.

    Mike

  10. #30
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Shining Path leader Comrade Artemio captured

    davidbfpo

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    Default They're back (or they never went away)

    http://www.insightcrime.org/news-bri...h-still-strong

    Recent Attack on Peru Police Shows Shining Path Still Strong

    Guerrillas of Peru's Shining Path rebels recently killed three policemen in the country's main coca-producing region, a sign that the group intends to defend its hold on Peru's criminally lucrative territories amid expanding coca production in the South American country.

    Shining Path snipers attacked a police convoy on March 18, leaving three officers dead, reported El Pas. The convoy was carrying agents of the Special Anti-Drug Operations Division (Divisin de Operaciones Especiales Antidrogas) from their headquarters in the Apurimac, Ene and Mantaro River Valleys (VRAEM), a region known to be the country's biggest coca-producing area.

  12. #32
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    Default Peru & Sendero Luminoso (merged thread)

    Last edited by davidbfpo; 10-29-2017 at 12:10 PM. Reason: Copied to here.

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