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Viewing cable 06LIMA622, NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE DIRECTOR'S BRIEFING ON

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06LIMA622 2006-02-14 18:06 2010-12-12 21:09 SECRET Embassy Lima
P 141809Z FEB 06
FM AMEMBASSY LIMA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8733
INFO AMEMBASSY BOGOTA PRIORITY 
AMEMBASSY CARACAS PRIORITY 
AMEMBASSY LA PAZ PRIORITY 
AMEMBASSY QUITO PRIORITY 
AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO PRIORITY 
AMCONSUL GUAYAQUIL PRIORITY 
CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
DIA WASHDC PRIORITY
S E C R E T LIMA 000622


E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/09/2031
TAGS: PTER PGOV PE
SUBJECT: NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE DIRECTOR'S BRIEFING ON
SENDERO LUMINOSO

REF: A. 05 LIMA 5397
B. 05 LIMA 5203

Classified By: D/Polcouns Art Muirhead for Reason 1.4 (B, D)

1. (S) SUMMARY. National Intelligence Directorate Chief
Julio Raygada sees SL as collaborating with the narcotics
trade, but does not consider the Senderistas to be simply
"narco-terrorists;" he asserts that the group remains
ideologically focused in its activities. Raygada points out
that in recent fatal attacks, SL employed its traditional
tactic of using a temporary strike force that fades back to
civilian cover. He believes SL intends to use this technique
to increase the pace of its "popular war" through selective
assassinations and armed take-overs of villages, eventually
carrying its struggle from the countryside to the cities.
There is increased SL political activity throughout the
country, including reinvigoration of regional committees, and
infiltration of vulnerable institutions. SL is thriving
militarily by preying on economic activity in Peru's
interior, not just from protecting narcotics trafficking, but
also through bribes from illegal loggers, fuel smugglers,
fruit growers and sugar producers. END SUMMARY.

2. (C) Ambassador received a briefing on 1/26 from DINI
(National Intelligence Directorate) Chief Admiral (R) Julio
Raygada on the organization and current direction of Sendero
Luminoso (SL). Raygada had served as the Acting Director of
National Intelligence for over a year while Peru's
intelligence systems were undergoing reorganization, and he
became the permanent DINI head after the regulations on
Peru's new National Intelligence System (SINA) were published
in the Official Gazette on January 4. On 2/2, Raygada gave
D/Polcouns an expanded version of the SL briefing, the
salient points of which follow.

3. (S) Although he stressed at the outset that he does not
equate Peru's situation with Colombia's, Raygada expressed
concern about the growth of coca cultivation here. DINI
believes that coca cultivation has grown from 44,000 hectares
in 2004 to 56,000 hectares currently. In addition, the
density of cultivation has increased, especially in
non-traditional areas, meaning that the potential for cocaine
production in Peru has increased by an even greater margin.
Traffickers export coca paste and cocaine with relative ease
using medium to large ocean-going vessels, departing in many
cases from the southern coast of Peru. Areas of intense coca
cultivation, in particular the Monzon Valley, have become in
essence liberated areas, with little state presence. Groups
with political agendas, not just SL but also Ollanta Humala's
Nationalist Party and the Peruvian Communist Party, are
attempting to portray themselves as the advocates of coca
producers.

4. (S) Although Raygada sees SL as collaborating with the
narcotics trade in ways that are similar to Colombia's FARC,
he does not believe that the Senderistas have morphed into
"narco-terrorists." He thinks instead that SL continues to
adhere to many of its own distinct tactics and long-term
objectives. SL does not maintain a uniformed standing army.
SL tactics in recent fatal attacks (Refs) have tended even
more toward their traditional approach of putting together a
temporary strike force that carries out an operation and goes
back to civilian cover. SL intends to use this technique to
increase the pace of its "popular war," eventually carrying
this struggle from the countryside to the cities. There are
indications that Sendero is reviving its practice of
selective assassinations, and of armed take-overs of villages
to capture and gather information on opponents.

5. (S) SL is also undergoing renewed efforts to fortify its
infrastructure and bases of support. 10,057 persons accused
or convicted of terrorist activity were released from jail
between 1982 and 2005, and many have retained their
connection with SL. Raygada believes that SL has 2,000
active members at present, although just a few hundred are
armed combatants. SL documents recently seized by the police
refer to the group's historic and doctinaire view of their
struggle to come to power. The documents make reference to
the "Fight on Two Fronts" (i.e. armed and political,
abbreviated as L2L in Spanish), and to passing into the
"Fourth Phase" (NFI) of SL's revolution against the Peruvian
State.

6. (S) SL's political strategy is to organize "pockets" of
activity: reinvigorated regional committees in the north,
south, central highlands, Huallaga Valley and metropolitan
Lima; "popular committees" engaged in fund-raising in 70
villages throughout the coca zone; control of Peruvian
Popular Aid (Socorro Popular del Peru), an NGO that was
initially created to support families of prisoners;
infiltration of rural peasant patrols (groups originally
created to oppose Sendero) in coca-growing areas;
infiltration of the radio broadcast industry, in particular
in the northern cone of Lima; and positioning members in key
positions in universities and in the national teachers union.
Raygada also alleged that NGOs such as the Legal Defense
Institute (IDL) and Living Justice (Justicia Viva), which
have received Embassy funding support, are knowing advocates
of Sendero.

7. (S) Militarily, the SL combatants in the north (Huallaga
Valley) are well organized in columns SL refers to as "mobile
networks" of 12 to 30 individuals. These groups prey upon
the economic activity (licit and illicit) along the Belaunde
and Basadre Highways. There are three different groups of SL
combatants in the south (Apurimac and Ene Valleys). These
groups are more widely separated than those in the north, and
tend to live in jungle camps, rather than under cover in
villages (as in the north). Besides "assessments" (cupos)
for protecting narcotics trafficking, the SL combatants in
both regions receive money from illegal loggers, fuel
smugglers, fruit growers and sugar producers. DINI recently
received information that SL had gotten $10,000 (possibly a
loan) from the Peruvian Communist Party. DINI believes SL
has also solicited funds from the FARC.


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