Comrade Artemio giving an interview
Leader of the Shining Path
|Assumed office |
|Preceded by||Óscar Ramírez|
|Political party||Communist Party of Peru - Shining Path|
Comrade Artemio is the alias of the man believed by many to be the current leader of the Shining Path, a Maoist guerrilla group in Peru. While Artemio's real name is unknown, the Minister of the Interior, Fernando Rospigliosi, has claimed that Artemio has a national identification card under the false name of José Flórez León. As a result of this card, the government has a picture of the face of the man they believe is Artemio. The CIA World Factbook lists his true identity as Gabriel Macario.
Very little is known about Comrade Artemio. He has appeared in video tapes, but in them he wears a ski mask, often with an extra piece of cloth sewed on to hide even his eyes. Messages supposed to have been written by him make the claim that he is only the regional commander of the Shining Path for Huallaga region, implying that he is not the leader of the entire movement. This might be because he takes the imprisoned former leaders, Abimael Guzmán, or his successor, Óscar Ramírez Durand, to be the true leaders, not believing their orders for the Shining Path to lay down its arms.
On September 26, 2006 a news crew from the television show Panorama interviwed Artemio in a jungle base established by Shining Path. They also filmed about 50 Shining Path militants, all of whom were masked. Artemio demanded that the Peruvian government grant amnesty to imprisoned Shining Path members and open a peace dialogue with the remaining Shining Path members. Days after the report, the National Police raided the site where Artemio gave the interview. Some Shining Path members were arrested, but Artemio was not.