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In fight with Shining Path, Peru's President Humala takes a page from Colombia

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As La Republica reports, the Colombian military has two brigades assigned to intelligence work: a general military intelligence brigade, which is composed of 11 battalions (which typically comprise 300 to 1,000 men) and a counterintelligence brigade, which consists of five battalions. Peru’s military intelligence system, on the other hand, is made up of only a single brigade, consisting of two battalions.

In the coming months, the Peruvian military will introduce at least two more battalions. One has reportedly already been set up, designed to focus specifically on counterintelligence.

With this restructuring, the Peruvian military hopes to make real progress in its campaign against the Shining Path, which has faltered in recent years. As InSight Crime has noted, despite the claim by the outgoing government to have reduced the rebels’ “area of influence” from 34,000 to 5,000 square kilometers, coca cultivation statistics indicate that drug production is on the rise in the rebel heartland. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the amount of land under coca cultivation in the VRAE has gone up more than 30 percent since 2005, to at least 19,700.

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