By Brendan Oliver Bergh
Impunity Watch Reporter, South America
LIMA, Peru – Shining Path, making good on their threat to disrupt the flow of natural gas, have carried out an attack in the central region of Cusco that may threaten the nations gas production.
Early Saturday morning, members of The Communist Party of Peru, more commonly known as the terrorist organization The Shining Path executed a daring raid on a private companies infrastructure and heli-transportation. Members axed through metal barriers and made their way directly to the airfield. Using crude explosive charges, the terrorists destroyed three helicopters, and a security control room before disappearing into the jungle.
These helicopters were used to transfer staff of “Transportadora de Gas del Peru,” (TGP) which monitors and operates the pipeline through Peru.
The attack seems to have had the desired effect as security personnel ran from the explosions terrified. Due to this destruction the TGP has announced that it has suspended all maintenance work on the pipeline until security can be reestablished.
Terrorist leader Martin Quispe Palomino took credit for the attack and announced that this was a reprisal for the companies’ refusal to pay “quotas” for working in the Cusco jungle.
While there have been reports that Shining Path has been severely weakened and a shell of its former 1980s self, their sudden surge of activity is giving the Peruvian military and government pause. Despite the death of one of their leaders a few weeks ago, the Shining Path shows no signs of slowing down. As evident by this recent attack, and the kidnapping of dozens of gas workers in April, the organization seems to have branched out from merely ambushing and attacking the Peruvian army.
The US has remarked that the drug trade being pushed and pursued by the Shining Path are a detriment to Peruvian society and have offered any sort of assistance to the Peruvian government in their anti-terrorist crusade. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in a recent trip emphasized the need to work together on the issues of terrorism and drug trafficking. That the illegal drug business being conducted in the Peruvian valley has a detrimental effect on every country in the hemisphere. Leon Panetta reiterated his promise for the US to assist in protecting the inner security of the country.
It is unclear exactly what this damage will cause to the natural gas requirements and expectations of the Peruvian government, but what is known is this conflict is far from over.
For further information, please see:
La Republica – Helicopters Destroyed Three Businesses Operating in Camisea – 7 October 2012
La Republica – U.S. Reiterates That Drug Trafficking Is A Threat To Peru – 7 October 2012
The BBC – Peru Rebels Burn Helicopters At Jungle Airfield – 6 October 2012
The BBC – Peru Shining Path Rebel Comrade Williams Killed – 5 September 2012