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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Peru's Defence Minister and Interior Minister resign over guerrilla attacks

Peru's Defense Minister Alberto Otárola and Interior Minister Daniel Lozada have resigned after public outcry over a failed ´security´ operation against Shining Path rebels.
Both ministers were criticized after 10 soldiers and police officers were killed in clashes with the rebels. Some blamed them for the deaths, which occurred during operations in a region known as VRAE, or Valley of the Apurimac and Ene rivers, which is known for coca cultivation and the presence of Shining Path, or Sendero Luminoso, rebels.
Otárola and Lozada handed in their letters of resignation on Thursday, days after congressional representatives from four major political parties said they would support a motion of no confidence.
The soldiers and police officers were ambushed in April while they were pursuing a sector of the guerrilla group. One policeman survived alone in the jungle for 17 days with a bullet wound in his leg before he was able to make his way to safety.

A rickshaw taxi drives past a graffiti reading "Freedom for Abimael Guzman" in a neighborhood in the south end of Lima on September 16, 2011. Abimael Guzman, 76, is the historic leader of the Maoist group Shining Path and serves a life sentence.

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