Potential Hot Spots: January 3, 2005

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: It's an attack reminiscent of Sub-Commandante's Marco's Zaptista attack in Mexico on January 1, 1994. On January 1, 2005, a retired Peruvian Army major, Antauro Humala, led an attack on a Peruvian police station in Andahuaylas (450 kilometers southeast of Lima). Up to 150 men (described in various press accounts as "gunmen") participated in the attack. Seven policemen were reported wounded; there were no reported deaths in the shootout and occupation of the police station. Humala has a political goal: the resignation of Peru's President Alejandro Toledo. Humala described his action as a "military action" that would end when Toledo resigns. Humala and his followers have accused Toledo of "selling out" Peru to long time rival, Chile. Chile and Peru have been at odds for 150 years. There may be other reasons, however. Last week, Major Humala's brother, Lt. Col. Ollanta Humala (a Peruvian army officer) was forced to retire from the Army. The Humala brothers reportedly led a military "uprising" in October 2000 against former Pervuian President Alberto Fujimori. There's no doubt President Toledohas has real political problems. Toledo is very unpopular and his job approval ratings have dropped precipitously.


 

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