Peru rescues 54 from armed rebel group

Peru rescues 54 civilians who have been captivate for decades by armed rebel group

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Fiftyfour hostages, adults and children, were saved by Peruvian security forces from a remote jungle region where they had been held by the Shining Path armed group.  

Counter-terrorism police chief Jose Baella said on Saturday that some of the adults were kidnapped between 20 and 30 years ago, when the Shining Path rebel group had a strong stance, Puerto Ocopa and nearby towns have been held captive ever since.

Captives, mostly members of the Ashaninka indigenous group, were detected in a remote jungle region by special forces and police on Friday and Monday, he further informed.

Kidnapped women were used to produce child soldiers to serve the guerillas and grow crops for them. A 14-year-old was one of the eldest of the 34 children rescued, Bealla said.

The authorities were informed by two defectors - who were also raised in the camps - about the whereabouts of captive camps. The information the defectors provided led authorities to the rescue of 70 people in the past year.

The rescue operations have been successful, however, this is not considered as a serious blow to the Maoist group. However, the group has no more than 200 fighters, and has considerably weakened in the recent years after the capture of top commander Artemio in 2014.

An independent security expert Pedro Yaranga said, "these children and the captive mass had been abandoned and were on their own, very far from the place where the columns and the camps of the rebels and their children are located."

Officials informed that rescued captives were living in various camps in a place called Sector V in the Satipo province of Junin state.

TRTWorld and agencies