Wars without End: Drug Trafficking and Terrorism in the Twenty-First Century

Global Public Policy Watch

Rediscovering the War on Drugs

A recent military operation staged in Peru last month was a timely reminder of the connections that can be drawn between terrorism, new war paradigms and the persistence of the illicit global drugs trade.

The incident in question saw the rescue of thirteen adults and twenty-six children who had been held captive for more than two decades by the Shining Path Maoist rebel group in the remote Apurímac, Ene and Mantaro River Valley (VRAEM). Shining Path was responsible for agitating internal conflict in Peru for much of the 1980s, with estimates of the number of civilians killed as a result of the overall violence ranging between 11,000 – 70,000.

The Shining Path movement declined rapidly in the nineties in large part due to the capture of the group’s leader, Abimael Guzmán, but authorities have since struggled to eradicate the group completely. As of today, Shining…

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