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Calling for a truce, Shining Path guerrilla leader shows his face for first time

IDL-Reporteros via EPA

'Comrade Artemio', leader of the remainder of the Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path) group, speaking with the press in the Huallaga river valley, Peru, on Dec. 1, 2011.

Journalists working with Peru's Legal Defense Institute (IDL) and The Guardian traveled deep into Peru's Amazon jungle to conduct a rare interview with 'Comrade Artemio', the most senior leader of the notorious Shining Path guerrilla group to remain at large.

The Guardian's Dan Collyns, who describes Artemio as "a folk legend: loathed and respected in equal measure," says that this is the first time that Artemio has agreed to allow his face to be shown. 

The U.S. State Department is offering a $5 million reward for information leading to his arrest or capture

IDL-Reporteros via Reuters

'Comrade Artemio', left, one of the top leaders of Peru's Shining Path guerrilla movement, talks to his troops at a camp in the Huallaga valley in the Amazon jungle of Peru on Dec. 2, 2011.

The Associated Press reports from LIMA, Peru:

 One of two remaining leaders of the Shining Path guerrilla group in Peru said his troops will cease attacks and is calling for a truce to start peace negotiations with the government.

Known as Comrade Artemio, Jose Flores Hala told journalists Friday in his jungle hideout that he "isn't going to deny" that the government won.

Flores said his roughly 150 guerrillas wouldn't demobilize without a "process of frank and real negotiations." But, he told reporters, "We have no intention to brandish arms of war in armed struggle."

The Shining Path has shrunk since its 1980s heyday when it controlled large swaths of the Peruvian countryside. Troops captured leader Abimael Guzman in 1992 and his successor Comrade Feliciano in 1999. Read the full story.