Peruvian terrorism

Blasts near American embassies are becoming a tradition. This time, terrorist act occured in Peru’s capital. The American president is supposed to visit this city in several days. George Bush intends to conduct negotiations with the leaders of the countries that are incorporated in the Andes Trade Pact: Peru, Colombia, Bolivia and Ecuador.

The bomb killed eight people, and there were 30 people wounded. Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo announced that the terrorists would not be able to achieve their goals and disrupt the visit of the American president. Toledo stressed that absolute security will be provided for George Bush. There are a lot of police officers in the streets of Lima now. Bush himself said that he was not going to cancel the visit to Peru.

No one has claimed responsibility for the act of terrorism yet. The Peruvian police are not making any comments either. However, as the observers say, the explosion was organized by the ultra-left groups of the country. The government of Peru’s past President Alberto Fujimori was struggling with them (at active mediation of the States), but this did not mean that they were destroyed. The terrorists will always find support in Peru, because it is one of the poorest countries of Latin America.

The most influential ultra-left organizations in Peru are Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path) and Tupak Amaru Revolutionary Movement (this organization is titled so in honor of the Indian chieftain, who lived in the 18th century, struggling with the Spanish colonizers).

Sendero Luminoso was founded in 1960s, amid the figures of the Federation of university professors and students’ association. The organization started its military activity in 1978. The leader is Abimael Guzman. The organization was ideologically drawn to the Maoist direction of Marxism. The objective of the organization was the destruction of the Peruvian state and the establishment of the socialistic People’s Republic of the New Democracy, which would be Indian oriented. The center of the organization is Indians, the professors and students of the university in Ayacucho province – Peru’s poorest region. They set the goal of striving for control of the country by means of offensives on cities from the countryside and then to set up a government of workers and peasants. Their final goal is to destroy the cities and making the natural economy predominant, destroying the technological achievements and buildings, and so on. The organization performed 2500 acts of terrorism over the period 1980-1983, killing 1580 people. The killers were very brutal, 15-year-old teenagers often participated in the killings. In 1986, this organization exploded a bomb in the premises of the Soviet embassy.

President Fujimori obtained extra powers for the struggle against terrorism in 1991. Guzman was arrested in 1992 together many guerrillas of the movement; the total number of arrested extremists reached 2500 people. The organization was destroyed within several years. In contrast to other extremist groups, Sendero Luminoso has never received help from Cuba or from any other sources. The basic income of the organization was gained from the so-called military tax, which was collected from companies and natural persons, from robbery and drug commerce.

The tupak Amaru Revolutionary Movement has been operating since 1983. The movement was established by ultra-left professors, trade union attendants, and radical communists. The leader of this organization is Victor Polay (he studied in Paris and Spain), who was arrested in 1992. His successor is Nestor Cerpa Cartolini. The movement originally united deserters, those who stood for left extremism, as well as the members of the American Revolutionary People’s Union. The ideology of the Revolutionary Movement is something in between Marxism and Gevarism. Their objective is to destabilize the state by means of the armed propaganda and to establish a Marxist regime. Another goal of the movement is to oust American representatives from Peru. The guerrillas started their activity with attacks on the American property, robbing banks, kidnapping people. This organization was the most active in Latin America against the American citizens. The list of attacks on Americans included: October of 1984 – the armed attack on the American embassy, 1985 – exploding the American embassy. Missiles, grenade launchers, bombs are used during the acts of terrorism. The Revolutionary Movement is able to carry out the coordinated operations. For example in 1987 there were six radio stations seized at about one and the same time, and the actions like that were not the only one. After Fujimori came to power in Peru, the movement started acting against the Japanese nationals. The most notorious operation of this extremist organization is the events of July 18, 1996, when the Japanese embassy was seized in Lima. The Revolutionary Movement is in close contact with numerous groups of South America, it even cooperates with extremists in Japan and Europe.

These are only two largest terrorist groups, but there surely are many more smaller groups. Although the Peruvian government destroyed several terrorist groups over the latest decade, they will keep coming up anyway, because poverty and corruption are still prospering in Peru. The acts of terrorism against the American citizens and representative offices will continue. Therefore, there is nothing surprising that another act of terrorism was occurred on the threshold of George Bush’s visit.

Oleg Artyukov PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Dmitry Sudakov

On the photo: The logo of Tupak Amaru Revolutionary Movement

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