Peru captures Florindo Flores, leader of Shining Path remnant group

GlobalPost

Peruvian troops have captured the badly wounded leader of a remnant group of the Shining Path, a Maoist-inspired insurgency that waged a bloody war against the state in the 1980s and 1990s.

Florindo Flores, alias "Artemio," led several hundred guerrillas who went into the cocaine trade after the Shining Path founder was imprisoned in the 1990s — all but ending an insurgency that killed nearly 70,000 people.

Peru is the world's top grower of coca, the raw ingredient for cocaine.

President Ollanta Humala announced the capture Sunday, saying Artemio was taken in a joint operation by Peru's police and military, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Humala, a former army lieutenant colonel, personally flew to the remote Upper Huallaga Valley to congratulate those involved in the capture.

"Peru has won," Humala told state-run TV Peru. "We have defeated the terrorist criminals in the Upper Huallaga, capturing alive the terrorist Artemio who is at this moment receiving medical treatment."

He said Artemio, 50, would be airlifted to Lima, according to the Associated Press

Reuters reported that the US two years ago offered a multimillion dollar reward for information leading to his capture.

The capture would enable Huallaga — a major coca-growing district in central Peru — to develop its agribusiness, cattle ranching and tourism markets, he said.

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