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Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA)

Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA)

Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA) is a traditional Marxist-Leninist revolutionary movement formed in 1983 from remnants of the Movement of the Revolutionary Left, a Peruvian insurgent group active in the 1960s. The MRTA aims to establish a Marxist regime and to rid Peru of all imperialist elements (primarily U.S. and Japanese influence). Peru's counterterrorist program has diminished the group's ability to carry out terrorist attacks, and the MRTA has suffered from infighting, the imprisonment or deaths of senior leaders, and loss of leftist support. Several MRTA members remained imprisoned in Bolivia. MRTA members have previously conducted bombings, kidnappings, ambushes, and assassinations, but recent activity has fallen drastically. In December, 1996, 14 MRTA members occupied the Japanese Ambassador's residence in Lima and held 72 hostages for more than four months. Peruvian forces stormed the residence in April 1997, rescuing all but one of the remaining hostages and killing all 14 group members, including the remaining leaders. The group has not conducted a significant terrorist operation since and appears more focused on obtaining the release of imprisoned MRTA members.

MRTA is estimated to have fewer than 100 members, consisting largely of young fighters who lack leadership skills and experience. MRTA operates in Peru with supporters throughout Latin America and Western Europe.

FURTHER READING:

ELECTRONIC:

CDI (Center for Defense Information), Terrorism Project. CDI Fact Sheet: Current List of Designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations. March 27, 2003. <http://www.cdi.org/terrorism/terrorist.cfm> (April 17, 2003).

Central Intelligence Agency. World Factbook, 2002. <http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/> (April 16, 2003).

Taylor, Francis X. U.S. Department of State. "Patterns of Global Terrorism 2001," Annual Report: On the Record Briefing. May 21, 2002 <http://www.state.gov/s/ct/rls/rm/10367.htm> (April 17,2003).

U.S. Department of State. Annual Reports. <http://www.state.gov/www/global/terrorism/annual_reports.html> (April 16, 2003).

SEE ALSO

Terrorism, Philosophical and Ideological Origins
Terrorist and Para-State Organizations
Terrorist Organization List, United States
Terrorist Organizations, Freezing of Assets

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Tupac Amaru

Tupac Amaru (tōōpäk´ ämä´rōō), 1742?–1781, leader of indigenous peoples in the viceroyalty of Peru, baptized José Gabriel Condorcanqui. A man of some education and of high moral character, he sympathized with the plight of the native people of Peru and sought to alleviate their condition. Unable to persuade the Spanish colonial government to better conditions in the textile mills, the mines, and the villages, Condorcanqui, under the name of the Inca Tupac Amaru (his supposed ancestor), led a rebellion in 1780. The indigenous people flocked to support him, and at first Tupac Amaru was successful. He was later captured and brutally executed. The revolt continued, notably with the siege of La Paz in 1781, but was finally crushed. All of Tupac Amaru's family were executed or imprisoned, but many of the reforms for which he fought were granted.

See C. F. Walker, The Tupac Amaru Rebellion (2014).

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