Comrade José

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Comrade José (Camarada José) is the nom de guerre of Víctor Quispe Palomino, who claims to be the leader of the Shining Path, a Maoist guerrilla group in Peru.

By late November 2007, DIRCOTE had identified Quispe Palomino as one of the ten most wanted terrorists in the Apurimac and Ene River Valley (VRAE).[1] In 2008 it was reported that captured Shining Path documents showed that Comrade Jose was claiming to be the successor of Shining Path founder Abimael Guzmán.[2] On May 31, 2009 Comrade José gave an interview to a reporter from Punto Final, a Peruvian news show. During the interview Comrade José took responsibility for Shining Path actions, admitted that he personally participated in the Lucanamarca massacre, and demonstrated a group of child soldiers under his command. Peruvian President Alan García responded by announcing that the Peruvian government would denounce the Shining Path before the United Nations and the Organization of American States for their use of child combatants.[3]

In his Punto Final interview, Comrade José also claimed that both of his parents had been members of the Shining Path, and that his father died in combat with the Rondas Campesinas while his mother was arrested. He also spoke of his youth at San Cristóbal of Huamanga University and said that he had three major combat wounds, including a bullet in his chest. He also said that he had close to 300 men under his command and they collected "war taxes" from narcotics traffickers.[4] Comrade José also called his siblings "political embarrassments." This was a reference to the fact that they collaborated with military intelligence during the capture of Comrade Feliciano.[5]

The U.S. Department of State is currently offering a reward of $5 million USD for information leading to the arrest of Victor Quispe Palomino.[6]


  1. ^ Dircote identifica a los 10 terroristas más buscados del VRAE y del Alto Huallaga. November 29, 2007. La República. Accessed October 13, 2009.
  2. ^ El cabecilla terrorista del VRAE se autotitula sucesor de Abimael. April 27, 2008. La República. Accessed October 13, 2009.
  3. ^ Perú denunciará a Sendero Luminoso ante la ONU y la OEA por utilizar niños. May 30, 2009. La República. Accessed October 13, 2009.
  4. ^ Cabecilla de Sendero Luminoso admite que cobra cupos a narcos May 31, 2009. La República. Accessed October 13, 2009.
  5. ^ El solapado cambio de piel de Sendero Luminoso en el VRAE. April 19, 2009. La República. Accessed October 13, 2009.
  6. ^ United States Department of State - Narcotics Rewards Program