MRTA in Peru.

Matt D. afn02065 at
Mon Sep 18 11:08:05 MDT 1995

Jamal wrote:

>What do you know about Victor Polay's "Topac Amaru Revolutionary Movement"
>(MRTA) .. ?
>I get the idea that the MRTA is/was a bit more like the FMLN or FSLN,
>but in Peru.  They started guerilla actions in 1984, and they were
>inspired by Che Guavera.

Well, the MRTA is a bit more like the FMLN or FSLN, if those latter
organizations were/had been tiny fractions with no support among the working
class or the peasantry, revisionist fantasies about the legal left, and
complete military impotence.

My understanding is that they had a rather incongruously bifurcated
self-identity as sort of a focoist crystallization point for the revolution
in the countryside, and as armed support for the "popular movements" in the
cities.  The inadequacy of focoismo has been historically demonstrated
(sadly, by Che himself) and needs no recounting here.  As for their "armed
support" role, they made the typical revisionist mistake of believing that
the "popular movements" could actually acquire state power, for example with
the inaugartion of the APRA government in the mid-eighties (dates here,
anyone?).  They declared a "truce" with the government (as if they were
equals!), which meant that they basically hung around and waited for the
army and police to get around to completely fucking them up, which of course
is what happened.

Since the collapse of the "truce"  they have basically been destroyed
militarily (APRA's campaign persisting under the Fujimori regime -- with
whom they also initially had fantasies about "negotiating"!  Don't these
people ever learn?!).  They persist primarily as an imaginary "alternative"
for Peru in the minds of those who have trouble stomaching the violence and
the ideology of the CPP (or I guess "PCP" is the correct order of the
Spanish acronym).

-- Matt D.

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