Make your own free website on Tripod.com
BlackEagle/BlackEagle Logistics & Procurement Branch, Data Support Section
Results of Criminal Organizations Database Search: Popular Struggle Front
End Search

Popular Struggle Front #CR0001728 (Also... Some alternate names are aliases, other are names for specific subgroups or cells). Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement MRTA Tupac Amaru Amaru Movimiento Revolucionario Tupac Source: CIA, Interpol Type: Political terrorist organization Scope: Sporadic acts of terrorism carried out mainly in Latin America against a wide variety of targets. Affiliations: The MRTA has received an increase in assistance from Bolivia's ELN [#CR0003098], an organization with whom they have had a long-standing relationship. The MRTA merged with the Movement of the Revolutionary Left [#CR0003781] and certain ties may still exist with the MIR supporters. [CIA] Also reported to have well-established ties with former members of Colombia's Movimiento 19 de April [#CR0002738] and other leftist groups. These relationships may have facilitated the transportation of some members to Cuba where they received advanced weapons and demolition training in addition to a much-needed safe haven during the aggressive Peruvian government crackdowns. [Interpol] Personnel: Manpower is estimated at between 100-150 combatants. Operating Since: 1983 Structure: Scattered cells of five to eight members, under a committee of leaders and sub-leaders. Leaders: Formed by Nestor Cerpa [#LL6948120] and Victor Polay [#LL4172861]. Polay was the leader until his arrest in 1992. National Executive Committee member Emilio Villalobos [#LL4784210] also arrested in 1994. Dario Perez Velade [#LL6648127] head of Jungle command, arrested Jan 1997. Legitimate Connections: None known. Resources: Wide range of smallarms and some explosives, including a variety of current military hardware. Moderate resources for training and intelligence. Western intelligence sources have indicated that with additional assistance for the group has reportedly come from Libya, although the specifics have not been made available. [CIA] Suspected Criminal Activity: The group has conducted a large number of anti-U.S. attacks, in fact more than any other terrorist organization in Latin America. Significant anti-US operations include the October 1984 small arms attack on the U.S. Embassy, the 1985 bombing of the Lima offices of the Texaco Corporation, the 1985 attempted bombing of the US Embassy, and repeated attacks on the residence of the US ambassador, which have included rockets, mortars, and a car bomb. It should be noted that MRTA has proven itself capable of coordinated, simultaneous attacks on multiple targets. A notable example of this was the February 1987 takeover of six local radio stations, which were then used to broadcast anti-governmental propaganda. The takeover of radio stations by MRTA has since become a trademark of the group, highlighted by the broadcasting of prerecorded messages. On 17 December 1996, approximately 20 terrorists of the Movimiento Revolucionario Tupac Amaru successfully assaulted the residence of the Japanese ambassador to Peru, taking 400 guests hostage. This assault was highlighted by the explosive breaching of an exterior security wall, and the prepositioning of disguised MRTA members within the residence. This incident cast new light on an insurgent group often overshadowed by the more visible Shining Path and widely believed to have ceased operations. This occupation was resolved on April 22 when Peruvian counterterrorist forces effected their own assault on the complex. Using underground tunnels (construction facilitated by the playing of loud music) the commandos killed all the guerrillas and rescued 71 of the remaining 72 hostages. There has been some inquiry into the killings of the MRTA members amidst charges they were executed after the assault. In any event, this operation appears to have had a severely detrimental effect on the MRTA as an organization and may, in fact, have proven to be the deathknell of the group. Additional Commentary: This group operates in Peru but has suffered from President Fujimori's government offensive against MRTA, as well as the ubiquitous Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso- SL) [#CR0003198]. Nonetheless, the pro-Cuban MRTA has been responsible for more anti-American attacks than any other group operating in Latin America. These incidents have recently focused on kidnapping-for-ransom, a growing industry amongst such groups worldwide. The arrests of MRTA leader Victor Polay in 1992 and National Executive Committee member Emilio Villalobos in 1994 seem to have taken some of the spirit out of the group, in spite of apparent increased assistance from Bolivia's ELN [#CR0003098] with whom MRTA has had a long-standing relationship. They have, nonetheless, taken advantage of the Peruvian government's recent border war with Ecuador by conducting raids against towns left undefended by retasked security forces. These gains will almost certainly be temporary unless the border war becomes a major preoccupation for the government The MRTA has a long and active history dating back to 1983. Initially, it was believed that the group was simply a front organization for, or an offshoot of, SL. In fact, MRTA was quite independent, having formed in the early 1980s by Nestor Cerpa and Victor Polay, university student radicals who espoused a diverse, Castroite Marxists-Leninist ideology. In 1986, the group merged with the Movement of the Revolutionary Left (MIR) [#CR0003781] and followed this up with a widespread bombing campaign throughout Lima. This event both increased the manpower of MRTA and helped to solidify its ideological outlook. The goals of the MRTA, then and now, have primarily been the destabilization of the Peruvian government through "armed propaganda" and the establishment of a Marxist regime in its place. An additional goal, one aggressively pursued, is the removal of "imperialist" U.S. government and business activities. It is important to note that MRTA differs from SL in that is it is much less xenophobic and a strong proponent of the Marxist international revolutionary movement. MRTA reportedly has well-established ties with former members of Colombia's Movimiento 19 de April [#CR0002738] and other leftist groups. These relationships have helps ensure the viability of the group, and may have facilitated the transportation of some members to Cuba where they relieved advanced weapons and demolition training in addition to a much-needed safe haven during the aggressive Peruvian government crackdowns. Western intelligence sources have indicated that with additional assistance for the group has reportedly come from Libya, although the specifics have not been made available. MRTA has been supported in its assault on the Japanese ambassadors residence with attacks on the Peruvian embassy in Athens and on 21 Dec 96 when two Molotov cocktails were thrown at the Peruvian consulate in Milan, causing minor damage. It is not known if this latter incident was a prank, as there is no known group operating in Italy which would likely support the MRTA. The group was dealt a blow when Dario Perez Velade was arrested on 08 Jan 97 in the town of San Ramon in Junin Department. It is believed that Velade, also known as "Paco" and "Ever", is the commander of the jungle subfront of MRTA in the Chanchamayo Valley. After his arrest, Velade claimed he had left the MRTA in 1995, however police are investigating the possibility that Velade may have played some role in facilitating the assault on the Japanese ambassador's residence.
USE BACK BUTTON TO
RETURN TO MY TERRORIST PAGES