Army of National Liberation (ELN)

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Army of National Liberation (ELN)

The Ejercito de Liberacion Nacional (Army of National Liberation; ELN) was founded by Hector Bejar in the early 1960s in the wake of the Cuban Revolution of 1959. He envisioned the ELN as not just one more leftist political party, but a disciplined military organization that would mobilize the peasant and proletarian classes to overthrow the government. Acting as a revolutionary cadre with ties to the Peruvian Communist Party, the ELN favored a focista or vanguard approach modeled after the successful Cuban example. In 1963 the ELN sent a small group of young intellectuals who had been trained in Cuba to assist Hugo Blanco, the leader of a peasant uprising in La Convención province, but they were quickly detected and hunted down by the police. In 1965 Bejar joined with two other revolutionary groups (Movement of the Revolutionary Left and Tupac Amaru), whose headquarters were on the Mesa Pelada not far from La Convención, in an unsuccessful joint guerrilla action.

See alsoMovimiento Revolucionario Tupac Amaru (MRTA); Peru, Political Parties: Movement of the Revolutionary Left (MIR); Peru, Revolutionary Movements: Shining Path.


Masterson, Daniel M. Militarism and Politics in Latin America: Peru from Sánchez Cerro to Sendero Luminoso. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1991.

                                        Peter KlarÉn

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Army of National Liberation (ELN)

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