U.S. Warns of Heightened Potential for Terrorist Acts by Peru Rebels

From Reuters

The State Department Friday warned American tourists in Peru to be on guard against kidnaping and bombing attacks for the next two weeks in view of the 10th anniversary of the Shining Path Communist insurgency.

Deputy spokesman Richard Boucher said in a statement that the U.S. Embassy received information that foreigners, particularly Americans, may be the targets of kidnaping by another guerrilla group, the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA).

“All Americans in Peru should be cautious in their movements and be alert to any suspicious activity,” he said.

Since the Maoist Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso) was founded 10 years ago, 19,000 have been killed.


“We believe there is a strong possibility of increased bombing attacks by this organization over the next two weeks,” because of the anniversary, Boucher said. The risk is greatest in Lima, Cusco, Macchu Picchu and other popular tourist sites, he said.

The guerrillas were suspected of exploding bombs Thursday outside two offices of presidential candidate Alberto Fujimori’s party. Three other blasts were reported.

Leaflets bearing Shining Path’s official name, the Communist Party of Peru, were found outside the city of Ayachucho. They said the group had called a temporary halt to violence but would resume their armed struggle soon.