Peru guerrilla leader pledges no more attacks

AP News
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Posted: Dec 07, 2011 5:46 PM
Peru guerrilla leader pledges no more attacks

One of two remaining leaders of the Shining Path guerrilla group in Peru said his troops will cease attacks and is calling for a truce to start peace negotiations with the government.

Known as Comrade Artemio, Jose Flores Hala told journalists Friday in his jungle hideout that he "isn't going to deny" that the government won.

Flores, however, couldn't speak for another Shining Path leader, known only as Comrade Jose, who has not declared a truce.

Flores is based in the Huallaga Valley in central Peru, a center of coca production, while Comrade Jose is in the Apurimac-Ene river valley in the country's southeast, where coca production is also rampant.

Flores said his roughly 150 guerrillas wouldn't demobilize without a "process of frank and real negotiations." But, eh told reporters, "We have no intention to brandish arms of war in armed struggle."

The Shining Path has shrunk since its 1980s heyday when it controlled large swaths of the Peruvian countryside. Troops captured leader Abimael Guzman in 1992 and his successor Comrade Feliciano in 1999. The group has since split into the two factions.