Red Brigades

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The Red Brigades (Brigate Rosse in Italian, often abbreviated as the BR) were a Marxist-Leninist militant group based in Italy and active, via a number of political assassinations, during the "Years of Lead".

Formed in 1970, the Red Brigades sought to create a revolutionary state through armed struggle and to extract Italy from the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. Their boldest move took place in 1978, when the second groups of the BR, headed by Mario Moretti, kidnapped the former Christian Democrat Prime Minister Aldo Moro killing five men of his entourage and subsequently murdered him 54 days later. The BR barely survived the end of the Cold War following a split in 1984 and the arrest or flight of the majority of its members. In the 1980s, the group was broken up by Italian investigators, with the aid of several leaders under arrest who assisted the authorities in capturing the other members. A majority of those leaders took advantage of a law that gave credits for renouncing the doctrine (dissociato status) and contributing to efforts by police and judiciary to prosecute its members ("collaboratore di giustizia", also known as pentito).


1970: the first BR generation

The Red Brigades were founded in August 1970 by Renato Curcio, a student at the University of Trento, his girlfriend Margherita (Mara) Cagol and Alberto Franceschini.

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