Overview:  The Peruvian National Police (PNP) and armed forces continued operations in 2022 targeting alleged Sendero Luminoso (SL) remnants.  The government also continued investigating SL front organizations and its legal political branch, called the Movement for Amnesty and Fundamental Rights.

Peruvian citizen Brian Eugenio Alvarado Huari, arrested in 2019 for alleged links to ISIS and with plans to “attack foreigners,” remained confined to the city of Lima in 2022 as requirements for his trial continued to move forward.  SL remnants continued to operate in the Valley of the Rivers Apurímac, Ene, and Mantaro (VRAEM) region.  Estimates varied, but most experts as well as the Peruvian security services assessed that these SL members numbered between 250 and 300, including from 60 to as many as 150 armed fighters.  To support its terrorist activities, SL collects “revolutionary taxes” from drug trafficking organizations operating in the area.

Víctor Quispe Palomino (aka Comrade José), a U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency Most Wanted Fugitive, leads SL’s remnants in the VRAEM; he calls his group the Militarized Communist Party of Peru (MPCP).  Quispe allegedly oversees all MPCP illicit activities, including extortion, murder, and drug trafficking.  According to Peru’s armed forces, his brother Jorge Quispe Palomino (aka Comrade Raul) died in January from medical complications following an earlier counterterrorism raid in the VRAEM.

2022 Terrorist Incidents:  The overall number of terrorist incidents increased from four in 2021 to five in 2022, but deaths attributable to terrorist incidents decreased from 16 to three.

  • On March 24, soldiers came under fire while patrolling in Ayacucho, Huanta Province, and were extracted by air assets.  Two soldiers suffered injuries in the attack.
  • On April 8, a counterterrorism base in Ayacucho took small arms fire.  The attackers did not breach the base, but one soldier was injured.
  • On August 15 an IED detonated during a CT patrol in Junín, Satipo Province, resulting in two injuries.

Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security:  Peru adopted multiple CT laws over the past 30 years; these generally have broad public support.  Enforcement of the COVID-19 pandemic national lockdown took a toll on security forces’ ability to focus on CT, but according to detailed reporting shared by the Peruvian government, military and police teams nevertheless completed more than 400 CT operations in 2022.

The international terrorism trial against Muhammad Ghaleb Hamdar, a Lebanese citizen suspected of links to Hizballah, continued in 2022.  The prosecution presented the testimony of FBI Hizballah subject-matter experts to demonstrate common elements between the Hamdar case and other cases successfully prosecuted in the United States.  Justice sector contacts say Hamdar’s case should move to closing arguments and sentencing in 2023.

Immigration authorities continued to collect biometric information from visitors at ports of entry to protect Peruvian border security.  Visas were not required for visitors from Europe, Southeast Asia, or Central America (except El Salvador and Nicaragua).  Since 2019 the United States and Peru have had a Homeland Security Presidential Directive-6 terrorism screening information sharing arrangement in place that facilitates the exchange of data on known or suspected terrorists and complements other programs such as the ATS-G.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security expanded its cooperation with Peru in 2021 via BITMAP, a program that leverages three key U.S. databases to search, enroll, and identify known or suspected terrorists, violent international gang members, and other individuals of interest.  The program also serves as a capacity building mechanism.

Countering the Financing of Terrorism:  Peru is a member of GAFILAT; its FIU, the Financial Intelligence Unit of Peru, is a member of the Egmont Group.  There were no significant changes in 2022.

For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, see the 2022 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes.

Countering Violent Extremism:  The government’s multisectoral VRAEM 2021 Development Strategy, part of Peru’s bicentennial vision, aims to foster economic development and social inclusion, and complements aggressive actions against SL terrorism, propaganda, and recruitment.

International and Regional Cooperation:  Peruvian officials participate in counterterrorism activities with international organizations, including the United Nations, CICTE, and the APEC.  The PNP Counterterrorism Directorate also coordinates with police in other countries to track terrorist activities.  In September, Peru and the United States co-hosted a Conference of States Parties to CICTE, bringing together leaders from across the Western Hemisphere.

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