At least six dead in a collision between remnants of the extinct Shining Path guerrilla and a military patrol in a coca-growing valley in Peru, a Defense Ministry unit reported on Saturday.

The Joint Command of the Armed Forces statement did not specify the date of the confrontation, stating that five remains of Sendero Luminoso and one army soldier were killed.

He indicated that it happened in the district of Vizcatán del Ene, in central Peru, in the context of an operation to capture Víctor Quispe Palomino, aka Comrade José, leader of the remnants of the far-left guerrilla group that was militarily defeated in the 1990s.

Quispe Palomino was not found, however “Paulino, a member of the Shining Path military force, was neutralized and died as he prepared to clear the combat zone,” noted the statement.

It added that a soldier died during the armed action and that “terrorist criminal ‘Álvaro'” was captured, informing them that “about four ‘comrade José’ security officers’ had been killed as a result of the confrontation.

The district of Vizcatán del Ene is located in the department of Junín and is part of a large coca-growing area known as VRAEM, an acronym for Valle de los Ríos Apurímac, Ene and Mantaro, where remnants of the Shining Path associated with drug trafficking have existed for decades. sought refuge, authorities said.

Peru is one of the largest coca leaf growers and cocaine producers in the world.said the UN.

On March 14, an army soldier was killed in a confrontation in the VRAEM and two soldiers were wounded in the same area in February.

guerrilla remnants

Shining Path emerged as a Maoist organization that in 1980 unleashed a “people’s war” — “terrorism,” according to authorities — that left 69,000 dead and missing after two decades of clashes with the security forces, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission said.

Nearly all guerrilla leaders are dead or captured, but the military estimates that About 200 to 350 ex-combatants are still active in the VRAEM.