The death toll in the remote coca region in Peru has risen to 16 | News in Peru
Peruvian officials have blamed the violence on the anti-Maoist rebel group Shining Path.
Number of deaths a attack in the remote mountainous region of Peru has risen to 16, officials say Tuesday, as interim President has promised there will be no “punishment” for those responsible for the killings.
Peruvian officials say the deadliest violence is the separatist Shining Path, a Maoist group that fought against the government in the 1980s and 1990s.
“We are doing everything possible to send the police and the army in such a way that we can fight the epidemic,” recent President Francisco Sagasti told reporters.
“We know this is a difficult area with a lot of valleys that drug addicts are well aware of.”
The villagers – including at least two children – were killed in San Miguel del Ene Coca-Cola farm where members of the Shining Path group work.
The mountainous region of Valle de los Rios Apurimac, Ene y Mantaro (VRAEM) is where 75% of the drug is found in South America, according to authorities. Police are suing the Shining Path for being a “protector” for drug traffickers.
The attack came less than two weeks before Peruvian people voted in the presidential election, which looks to Pedro Castillo against right-wing candidate Keiko Fujimori, the daughter of former President Alberto Fujimori.
After being informed of a neighbor’s attack on Monday morning, police found the bodies – some of them burnt – in two bars along a small river.
Sagasti has ordered police and military personnel in the area, and a “terrorist” group has been tasked with investigating the killings.
“We have beaten them in some parts of the country many years ago, but (Shining Path) is still in one place and we hope to end terrorism soon and take action by the military,” Sagasti said.
Castillo and Fujimori condemned the protest, as did the Organization of American States (AOS), which said it refused to “threaten any citizens”.
“In the way that elections are taking place, we call on all parties to take action, to avoid hate speech that fuels conflict,” the United Nations office in Lima said in a statement on Monday.