Peruvian Police Arrest Mario Antonio Sifuentes Sandoval, #2 Man of Shining Path Maoist Insurgents

Peru’s Interior Minister Miguel Hidalgo announced Wednesday December 29, 2010, the arrest of Mario Antonio Sifuentes Sandoval, who is also known as Comrade Sergio or Sergio.

Mario Sifuentes, second in command of the Shining Path maoist insurgent group, was captured on Wednesday in Alto Huallaga.

He previously served 12 years in prison on charges stemming from his activities with the Maoist group.

The Communist Party of Peru (Spanish: Partido Comunista del Perú), more commonly known as the Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso), is a Maoist organization in Peru. When it first launched the internal conflict in Peru in 1980, its stated goal was to replace what it saw as bourgeois democracy with “New Democracy”. The Shining Path believed that by imposing a dictatorship of the proletariat, inducing cultural revolution, and eventually sparking world revolution, they could arrive at pure communism.

Sandoval is an associate of Shining Path Florencio Flores Hala, “Comrade Artemio,” who heads the guerrillas in the upper Huallaga valley in the Huanuco department of Peru.

The Shining Path is regarded by the Peruvian government as a terrorist organization for violence deployed against peasants, trade union organizers, popularly elected officials and the general civilian population.

Similar to the larger FARC in Colombia, some factions of Shining Path have reinvented themselves as a highly efficient cocaine-smuggling operation, with an ostensibly paternalistic relationship to villagers.

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