Wikileaks Cable Alleges Peruvian Military Ties To Drug Trafficking & Reveals U.S. Fears Over Shining Path

December 14, 2010 7:50 am 1 comment

Today in Latin America

Top Story — A leaked United States diplomatic cable reports that Peru’s new military head was involved in drug corruption, a charge that the general adamantly denies.

The March 2009 document, released by the website Wikileaks, was written by then-Ambassador Michael McKinley and stated that an unnamed source “saw signs that officers may have continued to cooperate with drug traffickers.”

The document referenced a 2007 meeting between Peruvian Gen. Paul da Silva and a regional fishing industry leader, Rolando Eugenio Velasco Heysen, where the two allegedly discussed drug shipments. On October of 2007, Velasco was arrested on charges that he attempted to export 840 kilograms of cocaine in frozen fish.

The cable also says corruption has “long plagued Peruvian government institutions,” including the military, and adds that the military is reluctant to initiate a serious plan to pacify one of the most notorious drug zones in Peru, known as the VRAE.

Da Silva held a press conference on Monday, where he demanded that the government investigate the matter and called the cable a “disgrace.”

Another leaked cable coming from the U.S. embassy in Peru shows that the U.S. fears a resurgence of the Shining Path insurgency. The Shining Path, or Sendero Luminoso in Spanish, is a Maoist organization that began an insurgency against the Peruvian state in 1980.

The rebellion cost 69,000 lives before it was nearly extinguished in the 1990s.

“There is no doubt that the (Sendero Luminoso) has adopted a ‘kindlier, gentler’ approach towards the local population,” an October 2009 cable said, according to The Miami Herald. It added that in the Apurimac Valley the insurgency “prefers to bribe peasants and local officials, rather than to terrorize them and even execute them, as they did in the past.”

Just Published at the Latin America News Dispatch

Headlines from the Western Hemisphere

North America

Caribbean

Central America

Andes

Southern Cone

Subscribe to Today in Latin America by Email

1 Comment

  • Dear Latin America Dispatch,

    UK Guardian internet news site has comprehensive articles about the diplomatic war taking place with the war on illegal drug trade. Their piece that Afghan and Taliban gangs/groups control prices of the illegal drug trade in America suggests
    complicity on the part of intelligence, enforcement and policy makers here.

    From Maui, there is a genuine need and imperative to decriminalize the information and government systems that rely on illegal drug trade for its own existence. This is primarily to perpetuate control to commerce, our courts and advertising dollars from California and New York.

    Perhaps the genuine struggle for Latin Americans to remain autonomous from global financial and industrial pressures rely on their leadership to understand that the stakes are about the preservation of culture and human dignity. It is in the hands of political diplomacy, not the hands of American military dollars.

    Please peruse my internet news site about the effort for Americans to hold their own corrupt systems accountable in light of recent foreign policy failures and evil. Strategic aggression is necessary now with unfortunate consequences for those who still believe in the viability of President Obama.

    Yukie Yamada

Leave a Reply


Other News

  • Mexico North America Today in Latin America

    Governor of Mexican State Steps Down Over Student Disappearances

    Top Story — The governor of the Mexican state of Guerrero stepped down from his position on Thursday as the disappearance of 43 students there late last month continues to reverberate across the country. Ángel Aguirre, 58, is barred by law from resigning his post, but said that he is taking a leave of absence. Aguirre has faced widespread anger over his handling of the students’ disappearance, and many have called for his resignation during protests in Guerrero’s capital city […]

    Read more →
  • Southern Cone Today in Latin America Uruguay Uruguayan Presidential Candidate Would Roll Back Historic Marijuana Law

    Uruguayan Presidential Candidate Would Roll Back Historic Marijuana Law

    Top Story — Days ahead of Uruguay’s presidential election Sunday, the country’s top opposition candidate on Wednesday vowed to repeal the country’s historic marijuana law, which legalizes the commercial production and sale of the drug. Centrist National Party candidate Luis Lacalle Pou had not previously specified what actions he would take against the law. Lacalle Pou told Reuters that he would keep the articles permitting personal marijuana use and cultivation, but would repeal the rest, including the provisions for commercialization […]

    Read more →
  • Mexico North America Today in Latin America Mexican Troops Executed Victims in June Slayings, Rights Body Finds

    Mexican Troops Executed Victims in June Slayings, Rights Body Finds

    Top Story — Mexican troops executed up to 15 of the 22 suspected gang members killed in June in the small town of San Pedro Limón, according to an investigation by the government’s human rights agency. The account by Raúl Plascencia, president of the commission, contradicted several prior versions of a murky story offered at various stages by the military, the Attorney General’s office and an eyewitness. Plascencia called for prosecutors to investigate a potential cover-up by military officials. At […]

    Read more →
  • Caribbean News Briefs North America As World Series Begins, So Does ‘Latin American Pipeline’ to MLB

    As World Series Begins, So Does ‘Latin American Pipeline’ to MLB

    When the opening pitch is thrown Tuesday night in game one of the World Series, a number of Latin American players will be front and center under the bright stadium floodlights. What won’t be on display, however, are some of the darker stories behind how many Latin Americans make it to play in Major League Baseball in the first place. This season, Latin American players made up close to a quarter of all MLB players — a staggering 86 percent of […]

    Read more →
  • Chile Southern Cone Today in Latin America Pinochet Bodyguard and Ex-Mayor Arrested in Santiago

    Pinochet Bodyguard and Ex-Mayor Arrested in Santiago

    Top Story — Chilean authorities have arrested a former aide to Gen. Augusto Pinochet, accusing him of committing various atrocities under the 1973-1990 military dictatorship. A judge on Monday ordered the arrest of retired military colonel Cristian Labbe on charges of “unlawful association” with a group that ultimately became the DINA secret police force. Labbe was allegedly involved in the murder of 13 people under Pinochet’s dictatorship. Those 13 people, investigators found, were tortured and executed at the notorious Tejas […]

    Read more →
  • Caribbean Cuba Today in Latin America Latin American Ministers Will Meet in Havana to Discuss Ebola Fight

    Latin American Ministers Will Meet in Havana to Discuss Ebola Fight

    Top Story — Top health officials from several Latin American countries are meeting today in Havana, Cuba, to discuss joint efforts to combat Ebola, as fears grow over the virus’ potential to spread to the region. Leaders from the socialist ALBA bloc, which includes Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua and several Caribbean countries, will meet to coordinate efforts following unilateral travel bans by several countries in the region. On Saturday, retired Cuban leader Fidel Castro penned a column in the […]

    Read more →
  • Brazil Southern Cone Today in Latin America Brazilian Man Confesses to Killing 39 People, Attempts Suicide in Jail

    Brazilian Man Confesses to Killing 39 People, Attempts Suicide in Jail

    Top Story — A Brazilian man confessed to committing at least 39 murders after police arrested him in the city of Goiânia on Thursday after a 70-day investigation. Thiago Henrique Gomes de Rocha, a 26-year-old security guard, seems to have targeted women, homeless people and homosexuals. De Rocha, who committed the murders over three years, approached his victims on a motorcycle before demanding their belongings and then shooting them. Police noted de Rocha’s “coldness” and extreme rage when recounting his […]

    Read more →
  • Andes Today in Latin America Venezuela Falling Oil Prices Raise Worries of Venezuela Default, Crisis

    Falling Oil Prices Raise Worries of Venezuela Default, Crisis

    Top Story — Analysts are worried about a new phase of economic chaos in Venezuela as falling oil prices continue to take their toll. Insurance rates on the country’s debt shot up Wednesday to a new high, more than three times the size of the rate in late June, after a drop in oil prices raised worries the country may fail to pay off its obligations to foreign bondholders. The spike in Venezuela’s bond insurance rates means it costs investors […]

    Read more →
  • Caribbean Haiti North America Today in Latin America U.N. Extends Controversial Peacekeeping Mission in Haiti

    U.N. Extends Controversial Peacekeeping Mission in Haiti

    Top Story — The United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) will be renewed for another year, the U.N. Security Council announced on Tuesday. The council, composed of 15 nations, unanimously decided to renew the MINUSTAH mandate, though the number of military personnel in Haiti will be reduced from 5,000 to 2,370. The number of police personnel will remain unchanged. MINUSTAH was initially created in 2004 after former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was ousted in a coup, leading to violence and […]

    Read more →
  • Mexico North America Today in Latin America Mexican Radio Host Shot Dead on the Air

    Mexican Radio Host Shot Dead on the Air

    Top Story — Mexican activist and radio host Atilano Roman Tirado was shot on-air during his weekly program Oct. 11 in the state of Sinaloa. Two gunmen forced their way into the radio studio of Fiesta Mexicana where Tirado hosted his Saturday morning program “Así es mi Tierra.” Listeners of the program could hear a shot fired around 10:40 a.m. followed by a co-worker’s voice saying, “he killed him.” Programming on the station did not resume for another 30 minutes. […]

    Read more →