Shining Path Peru captives led to safety
Shining Path captives led to safety by Peruvian policeReuters

Peruvian troops have liberated eight adults and seven children that were kidnapped by the Shining Path militia group.

They were rescued on Friday (31 July) following the escape of two captives from the camp who then tipped off Peruvian Security forces to their location.

The children were between four and thirteen and were suffering from malnourishment and disease, according to the deputy defence minister for Peru Ivan Vega.

There were no casualties during the mission to free the captives who are understood to have been taken from their villages years earlier with the intention of breeding future soldiers for Shining Path and harvesting the fields for the militia.

The Shining Path is a Maoist guerrilla group that has rallied against the Peruvian government since 1980 when it was founded. It was believed to have been mostly disbanded in the 1990s with only a few factions remaining loyal to its cause.

The captives are receiving medical treatment and continue to be interviewed about their ordeal at the counter-narcotics police base in Mazamari in the Satipo in Peru.

On Monday (27 July) the Peruvian army said it had freed 26 children and 13 adults from the militia.

Vega said the rebels are holding up to 80 more children in remote areas of the Peruvian jungle.

Shining Path

The Communist Party of Peru is more commonly known as the Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso) and is a Maoist guerrilla insurgent movement in Peru.

It first launched in Peru in 1980 with its stated agenda to topple what it saw as the bourgeois democracy of the country's government and replace it with a "new democracy".

The Shining Path believed that by establishing a dictatorship of the proletariat and then introducing a cultural revolution that would lead to revolution that they would attain a pure model of communism.

Their leaders maintained that existing socialist countries were revisionist and claimed to be the vanguard of the world communist movement. The Shining Path's ideology and tactics have been influential among other Maoist insurgent groups, notably the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist).