Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Peru hostages rescued after 25 years

A Peruvian military operation has secured the release of more than a dozen people who were kidnapped by the Shining Path rebel group up to 25 years ago.

After being used as slaves in remote mountain communities, the 13 adults and 26 children were evacuated by helicopters, an army spokesperson said.

Some had grown so accustomed to their lives with the radical Marxist group that they were initially reluctant to be rescued, said Peru’s deputy minister of defence, Ivan Vega.

The eldest captive was a 70-year-old woman who was kidnapped from a convent in Puerto Ocopa decades ago. The youngest was a one-year-old.

The army said many of the children were conceived when the ­kidnap victims were raped.

Others were reportedly abducted from villages, indoctrinated and told they had to work in “production camps” to supply the revolutionary guerrilla group.

About 120 troops and four army helicopters took part in the operation on July 23 in a Shining Path stronghold in the heavily forested valley at the confluence of the Apurimac, Ene and Mantaro rivers, a centre of cocaine production.

The government said the operation was a victory against the Shining Path, which was largely defeated in the 1990s after waging a bloody insurgency that left almost 70?000 people dead or missing.

Remnants of the group remain active. They had been led by brothers Victor and Jorge Quispe Palomino, who have been indicted in the United States for alleged drug trafficking offences. – © Guardian News & Media 2015

Subscribe to the M&G

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and receive a 40% discount on our annual rate.

Jonathan Watts
Jonathan Watts works from Bristol, England. Copywriter, Classics MA and author. Bristol, books, gigs, dogs. Jonathan Watts has over 100 followers on Twitter.

Related stories

Advertising

Subscribers only

Seven years’ radio silence for taxpayer-funded Rhythm FM

Almost R50-million of taxpayers’ money has been invested but the station is yet to broadcast a single show

Q&A Sessions: Zanele Mbuyisa — For the love of people-centred...

She’s worked on one of the biggest class-action cases in South Africa and she’s taken on Uber: Zanele Mbuyisa speaks to Athandiwe Saba about advocating for the underrepresented, getting ‘old’ and transformation in the law fraternity

More top stories

Tekkie Town’s Steinhoff fight: ‘We will get our business back’

Bernard Mostert on the ordeal of losing a business he helped built and the fight to get it back

Israel-Palestine conflict: The past laid the violent foundations

Israel’s iron grip over Palestinians had its beginnings in the demise of the Ottoman Empire and Britain and France’s arbitrary mapping out of the Middle East

ANC confirms it will oppose Magashule’s court application

The ruling party has briefed senior counsel Wim Trengove to head the team that will contest Magashule’s bid to fight his suspension and oust Ramaphosa instead

Magashule defies suspension order and KZN leaders’ advice that he...

A strategy by the KwaZulu-Natal ANC to control the narrative coming out of former president Zuma’s court appearance for arms deal corruption and fraud was thwarted
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×