Túpac Amaru Revolutionary Movement

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The Túpac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (Spanish: Movimiento Revolucionario Túpac Amaru, abbreviated MRTA) was a Marxist revolutionary group active in Peru from the early 1980s to 1997 and one of the main actors in the internal conflict in Peru. It was led by Victor Polay Campos (comrade "Rolando") until his incarceration[2] and by Néstor Cerpa Cartolini (comrade "Evaristo") until his death in 1997.

The MRTA took its name in homage to Túpac Amaru II, an 18th-century rebel leader who was himself named after his ancestor Túpac Amaru, the last indigenous leader of the Inca people. MRTA was considered a terrorist organization by the Peruvian government, the US Department of State and the European Parliament[3][4] but was later removed from the U.S. list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations on October 5, 2001.[1]

At the height of its strength, it had several hundred active members. Its stated goals were to establish a Socialist state and rid the country of all imperialist elements.[5]

Contents

Origins

The MRTA originated in 1980 from the merging of the Marxist-Leninist Revolutionary Socialist Party and the militant faction of the Revolutionary Left Movement, MIR El Militante (MIR-EM).[citation needed] The former gathered several ex-members of the Peruvian armed forces that participated in the leftist dictatorial government of Juan Velasco Alvarado (1968-1975), and the latter represented a subdvision of the Revolutionary Left Movement, a Castroist guerrilla faction which was defeated in 1965. The MRTA attempted to ally with other leftist organizations following the first democratic elections in Peru after a military government period (1968–1980).

Operations

The first action by the MRTA occurred on 31 May 1982, when five of its members, including Victor Polay Campos and Jorge Talledo Feria (members of the Central Committee) robbed a bank in La Victoria, Lima. During the hold up, Talledo was killed by friendly fire and became the first loss of the movement.

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