Movimiento Revolucionario Túpac Amaru (MRTA)

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Movimiento Revolucionario Túpac Amaru (MRTA)

The Movimiento Revolucionario Túpac Amaru (MRTA) is a Peruvian guerrilla organization formed by the 1982 merging of the Partido Socialista Revolucionario-Marxista Leninista and the Movimiento de Izquierda Revolucionaria-El Militante. Rejecting the civilian regime established in 1980, the MRTA advocated social revolution through armed struggle. Leaders of the organization included Víctor Polay Campos (b. 1951), Néstor Cerpa Cartolini (1953–1997), Peter Cárdenas Schulte, Alberto Gálvez Olaechea, and Miguel Rincón Rincón, among others. Although it was never as strong as the Shining Path, the MRTA achieved notoriety through publicity-seeking acts, relying heavily on kidnappings to fund its activities. It developed a network of "people's prisons" where prominent business people were held captive while their ransoms were being negotiated. In the early 1990s the organization suffered severe military setbacks, including the capture of Polay. In an effort to free its jailed comrades, a group of seventeen militants seized the residence of the Japanese ambassador to Peru on December 17, 1996, holding hostage the ambassador and many other high officials. The siege finally came to an end on April 22, 1997, when the Peruvian military stormed the residence and killed all of the MRTA guerillas, including its leader, Cerpa. After this, the MRTA declined significantly.

See alsoPolay Campos, Víctor .


"Peru State Attorney Seeks Fujimori Murder Charges." Cable News Network, March 9, 2001. Available from

Tulchin, Joseph, and Gary Bland. Peru in Crisis: Dictatorship or Democracy? Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 1994.

                                      Julio Carrion

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Movimiento Revolucionario Túpac Amaru (MRTA)

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