Peru military tribunal hands rebel leader life sentence
LIMA, Peru (AP) -- A military tribunal handed a life sentence on Monday
top leader of the Maoist rebel group Shining Path.
Oscar Ramirez Durand, alias "Comrade Feliciano" -- for years Peru's most-wanted
fugitive -- was found guilty of treason in a closed military trial, the Supreme Military
Justice Council said in a statement.
Ramirez Durand, 46, was considered the last top rebel leader still at large
was captured July 14 in the rugged highlands 125 miles east of the capital, Lima.
He will serve his life sentence without chance of parole in a high security
prison for guerrilla leaders located at a naval base in Lima -- where the
group's founder, Abimael Guzman, also is imprisoned.
Guzman's capture in a Lima safe house in 1992 largely derailed the Shining
Path's destructive war against the government.
The group had as many as 10,000 armed fighters in the early 1990s, but
now believed to have fewer than 1,000 combatants.
Two men and four women captured in the two-week military sweep that
netted Ramirez Durand also received sentences Monday ranging from 15
years to 30 years.
Military units are still searching for a regional guerrilla leader known
"Comrade Artemio," who controls hundreds of armed fighters in the jungle
region of the Huallaga Valley.
Peru's war against leftist rebels has left 30,000 dead since 1980.