The head of the Dircote (Counter Terrorist Unit), General PNP José Baella Malca told Peruvian newspaper La Republica that the rescue operation was launched in August 2014 and ended on July 31st, this year with a new group of 15 people released. With a total of 70 Ashaninka people rescued, including adults and children in the Sector 5, located in San Martin de Pangoa province of Satipo, in Junin.
Gral. Baella estimated that at least 180 children under 17 years old are still in power of the senderistas Quispe Palomino brothers, Jose and Jorge.
Since the start of the terrorist war in 1980, the Ashaninka people have been frequent victims of the senderistas.
After the capture of Abimael Guzman, in 1992, a sector led by the Quispe Palomino brothers withdrew into the district area of San Martin de Pangoa, Satipo, where armed actions began deploying across the valley of the Apurimac rivers, Jan and Mantaro (Vraem). The senderistas used the indigenous people as a support base.
After the onslaught of the police, who managed to capture the leaders “Alipio”, “William” and “Gabriel”, the Quispe Palomino left the Ashaninkas that were captives in camps for indoctrination and training.
On July 27, there were 39 Ashaninka recovered. On July 31 was located the last group of 15 and they were taken to the police base in Mazamari.
Wearing their characteristic attire of the Ashaninka; they were barefoot, malnourished and dirty.
The faces of the women expressed sorrow, suffering and worry. They kept his head down and refused to talk. They would not say their names.
La Republica tried to interview one of them. She was a woman of short complexion and thin who at the moment of being addressed tried to give his name, but the police prevent her to do so.
All the women were quickly moved to a compounding the base Mazamari along with the other Ashaninkas who had been rescued from a previous operation.
“They can not speak because they have not yet adapted to this system,” said a senior army officer.
The liberation was the work of an elite group of the Special Intelligence Command and Joint Operations (CIOEC) and from agents of the Dircote.
Prosecutor Eneida Solorzano Aguilar, head of the Special Prosecutor against Terrorism and Crimes against Humanity, told newspaper La Republica that during the interrogation of adults, they informed that when their children met 12 years, “Comrade Olga” separate them from their families in order to feed the armed columns.
“Olga” is one of the most wanted senderistas by the counterterrorism forces because she is responsible of indoctrination and training camps.
Dircote chief explained that in the past rescue operations they captured comrades “Roberto” and “Richard” who were responsible to prevent prisoners from feeing.
According to intelligence reports Dircote, the Sector 5 -where they established the Ashaninka camp and kept them captive- was a strategic area for Victor Quispe Palomino, “Comrade José”. That region concentrated the largest number of indigenous people under terrorist threats by senderistas and who were forced to provide food for the armed movement.
On October 2, 1999, in the Anapati region in Satipo, Victor Quispe Palomino made his debut ambushing an army helicopter during an operation of the National Intelligence Service (SIN), to supposedly retrieve a group of Ashaninka.
According to the Prosecutor Eneida Aguilar, the rescue operations involved two former senderistas who decided to collaborate and led the police to the camps.
The deserters belonged to “Comrade Alipio” forces, and after escaping, they decided to cooperate with the Anti-Terrorism Police because they wanted to recover their relatives who were still in the camps.
Aguilar explained that the former senderistas participated in several attacks against the Armed Forces and the National Police and still have family in camps in the Andean region of Vizcatán.
“This is a very sensitive case because we are talking about teens and children torn from their families and forced to train and attack the police. This is very painful,” said Aguilar.
Originally posted in La Republica, written by Doris Aguirre August 02, 2016, translation Gaby Rendon.