Po­lice ar­rest Shin­ing Path leader

The Washington Times Daily - - World -

LIMA | Peru­vian po­lice Sun­day said they had ar­rested a sus­pected leader of a Maoist fac­tion of the Shin­ing Path rebel move­ment who was the ap­par­ent suc­ces­sor to Com­rade Artemio, who was cap­tured last month.

Na­tional Po­lice Di­rec­tor Raul Salazar told lo­cal me­dia that Wal­ter Diaz Vega, also known as “Freddy” or “Percy,” was snared in the moun­tain­ous jun­gle re­gion of Alto Hual­laga.

Mr. Diaz Vega “was the suc­ces­sor of Artemio and re­spon­si­ble for or­ga­niz­ing an armed col­umn in Alto Hual­laga,” Mr. Salazar said.

“His cap­ture took place on Satur­day,” and Mr. Diaz Vega “had in­tended to an­ni­hi­late the in­for­mants who in­fil­trated [the rebels] to al­low the cap­ture of Artemio in Fe­bru­ary,” the po­lice di­rec­tor added.

Mr. Diaz Vega will face mul­ti­ple ter­ror­ism charges, Mr. Salazar said.

Com­rade Artemio, whose real name is Florindo Eleu­terio Flores, was cap­tured Feb. 12 af­ter a fierce gun bat­tle with gov­ern­ment forces in which he was wounded. He is to be tried on charges of ter­ror­ism and drug traf­fick­ing.

Artemio, 47, led one of two splin­ter groups of the Maoist in­sur­gency that ter­ror­ized Peru­vians in the 1980s and 1990s.

The Shin­ing Path suf­fered a crip­pling blow when its founder and leader, Abi­mael Guz­man, was cap­tured in 1992. Au­thor­i­ties soon dis­cov­ered other group lead­ers, and the re­main­ing fight­ers fled into the jun­gle where they sur­vived as hired guns for drug traf­fick­ers.

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