On March 27, 1989, a group of some 300 Shining Path guerrillas attacked a police post in Uchiza, a small town located in northeastern Peru on the edge of the vast Amazon jungle. Most of the residents in the surrounding areas were small farmers who had turned to the illegal cultivation of coca, the primary ingredient in cocaine. Coca cultivation spread like wildfire in this part of Peru particularly in the late 1980s as the económic crisis worsened, and the expansion of drug trafficking networks was another indicator of the Peruvian state’s inability to regulate and control activities occurring within its borders. Shining Path had established its presence in coca-growing areas by providing protection to coca growers from Colombian drug lords and the Peruvian police who, prodded by Washington, engaged in forced eradication of coca in an effort to make cocaine more expensive and less available in the streets and neighborhoods of the United States.


Armed Force Political Violence Security Force Military Commander State Terror 
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© Jo-Marie Burt 2007

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  • Jo-Marie Burt

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