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Skanska workers held hostage by rebels in Peru

Thirty-six workers who provide services to a gas transportation company are being held hostage in Peru by suspected Shining Path guerrillas, one of the companies that employ the workers reported Tuesday.

Skanska workers held hostage by rebels in Peru

The report contradicted an earlier police statement saying most of the kidnapped workers, with two different companies, had been freed.

“There were 28 workers from the Swedish company Skanska and eight from the company Construcciones Modulares who were kidnapped,” Armando Fabbri Garcia, Skanska’s human resources manager, told AFP.

Last week, police in the Cusco region in southeastern Peru that includes the town of Kepashiato, where the kidnappings took place, reported that 23 kidnapped workers had been released.

Fabbri Garcia said the police reports were incorrect. He also said the kidnappers delivered written demands.

“I’m not allowed to go into detail on the document,” he said.

Peruvian news reports have said the kidnappers are seeking $10 million to free the hostages.

The workers were reportedly approached by an armed group that handed out leaflets and forced them to chant slogans, said Raul Donayre, an official from Transportadora de Gas del Peru, a contractor for the two companies whose employees were kidnapped.

The Shining Path was largely dismantled in the mid-1990s after its leaders were sent to prison but not before a conflict that left about 70,000 people dead, according to Peru’s Commission on Truth and Reconciliation.

However, remnants of the guerrilla group still operate in remote regions of Peru.

AFP/The Local

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PERU

Spain arrests Swedish citizen on Peru’s behalf

Spanish authorities have confiscated the passport of a Swedish citizen on the island of Gran Canaria.

Spain arrests Swedish citizen on Peru’s behalf
Sendero Luminoso leader Abimael Guzmán on trial in February 2017. Photo: Martin Mejia/AP/TT

An international arrest warrant issued by Peru, which accuses the man, a former Peruvian citizen, of connections with the Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path) Maoist group, known for violent militancy in the South American country during the 1980s and 1990s and designated a terrorist organisation by the United States and EU.

The Peruvian arrest warrant was reported by both Swedish newspaper Dagnes Nyheter and Spanish El País, reports news agency TT.

The man, who was given political asylum in Sweden in 1981, has travelled to many countries on his Swedish passport, including a number of times to Spain, reports TT.

Police confiscated his passport from his hotel following his arrival in Las Palmas on March 5th. He then rented an apartment on the island while awaiting police investigation.

His sister was married to now-imprisoned Sendero Luminoso leader Abimael Guzmán, which the man is reported to have claimed as the reason for his being sought by the Peruvian authorities.

“I have never cooperated with Sendero Luminoso,” he told El País. 

READ ALSO: Skanska workers held hostage by rebels in Peru