Peru’s ‘Comrade Artemio’ Unmasked in Video

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This video clip released by the Peruvian news network ATV program “Día D” last Sunday shows Florindo Eleuterio Flores Hala, alias “Comrade Artemio,” leader of the Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso) armed group instructing supporters on the activities to be carried out in the coming months to support the Shining Path. 

The video was initially taken by Peruvian intelligence in March of 2010 as part of an operation known as “Operation Eclipse.”

Interestingly, when addressing his visitors, the guerrilla commander claims to be acting in the name of Shining Path founder Abimael Guzman, who is serving a life sentence for terrorism and has denounced the remaining members of the guerrilla group as “mercenaries,” according to a 2009 interview with La Republica. Throughout his speech, Flores downplays the Shining Path’s involvement in drug trafficking and refers to the organization’s leadership as “politicians.” At one point, he even declares that the organization has electoral ambitions. “We have to be warrior politicians, because we’re going to enter in with a very strong electoral lead,” he says, calling for a campaign to de-legitimize government development projects.

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