LIMA – A group of heavily armed individuals attacked the police station in Pujiura, a town in Peru’s Cuzco region, early Monday, seriously wounding two police officers, Radio Programas del Peru, or RPP, said.
The assailants took advantage of a power outage caused by torrential rains in the area to stage the attack.
The town is so remote that it lacks both landline and cellular phone service, making it difficult to obtain information about the attack.
Police reinforcements are on their way to Pujiura to assess the situation, RPP said.
The police station is in the coca-growing Valley of the Apurimac and Ene rivers, or VRAE, region, which sprawls over parts of Cuzco, Ayacucho, Huancavelica and Junin regions.
The VRAE is the main source of coca, the basic raw material for producing cocaine, in Peru.
Both drug traffickers and guerrillas operate in the VRAE.
The Shining Path guerrilla group’s remnants operate in the VRAE region under Victor Quispe Palomino, alias “Comrade Jose.”
The rebels have joined forces with drug cartels and producers of illegal coca, the raw material for cocaine, officials say.
The government has made the elimination of the Shining Path’s remnants a priority.
The Maoist-inspired Shining Path launched its uprising on May 17, 1980, with an attack on Chuschi, a small town in Ayacucho province.
A truth commission appointed by former President Alejandro Toledo blamed the Shining Path for most of the nearly 70,000 deaths the panel ascribed to politically motivated violence during the two decades following the group’s 1980 uprising.
The guerrilla group, according to commission estimates, also caused an estimated $25 billion in economic losses.
Peru is the world’s second-largest cocaine producer, with potential estimated output of the illegal drug at about 300 metric tons. EFE