President Says He May Declare State of Emergency in Lima
LIMA, Peru (AP) _ Suspected leftist rebels assassinated a retired army intelligence officer in the capital Wednesday and President Alan Garcia said he may declare a state of emergency and a curfew in Lima.
The official news agency, Andina, said the retired army officer, Ruben Izquierdo Martinez, was shot in the head by two terrorists armed with submachine guns as he exercised outside his home.
Andina blamed the attack on leftist guerrillas but did not name a specific group.
Similar past assassinations have been attributed to the Maoist Shining Path guerrilla movement, which seeks to overthrow Peru’s elected government.
Garcia told reporters he was considering declaring a curfew and state of emergency in the city. But he said he would not impose a state of emergency, which restricts individual liberties, ″without consulting the entire country.″ He did not elaborate.
Lima residents have been awakened before dawn five days in the last three weeks by the sound of bombs exploding around the city.
In the same period, guerrillas have assassinated two police officers and kidnapped a marine officer who was being tried for homicide in the deaths of 50 peasants in the Ayacucho insurgency zone.
The Shining Path launched its guerrilla war nearly six years ago in Ayacucho, an impoverished province high in the Andes and about 350 miles southeast of Lima.
Former President Fernando Belaunde Terry imposed a state of emergency in Lima to stop guerrilla violence several times during his five-year term, which ended in July 1985. But he did not establish a curfew in the capital of 6 million people.
A state of emergency is now in effect in 19 districts of four Andean provinces where Shining Path guerrillas operate.
Meanwhile, police in Ayacucho said rebels shot and killed Justiano Huamani Rodas, prefect in the village of Ccapcca, in neighboring Apurimac province on Monday. The prefect is appointed by the federal government and is responsible for police matters at the village level.
Police also said a group of 30 rebels attacked a state-owned farm Monday night 40 miles north of the city of Ayacucho, burning warehouses containing fertilizer, insecticides, seeds and a tractor.
More than 5,000 peasants, guerrillas and members of the security forces have been killed in the six years of violence, and economic damage from rebel sabotage is estimated at more than $1 billion.