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:
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).