More on MRTA

Matt D. afn02065 at
Thu Sep 21 10:26:16 MDT 1995

Some info on MRTA from the Peru People's Movement in NYC:

(1) Leader is/was named Polay.

      (a) APRA member for 15+ years.  APRA is of the legal left in Peru.
            I believe they're to the right of IU.
      (b) Friends w/ Alan Garcia (APRA president in mid-80s), lived w/ him
            in Paris in the 70s.
      (c) Was helped by Garcia to escape from Canto Grande prison in 1990.
            I actually remember this.  Wasn't there something about their being
            related through marriage?

(2) While Castroist elements exist in the group, and they have received support
      from Cuba and Nicaragua, the MPP feels they are more analagous to M-19
      in Colombia than the FSLN or FMLN.  (This is consistent w/ my own im-
      pressions.)  That is, they function more as a "pressure group" than a
      tionary organization.  To put it another way, they're reactive rather than
      proactive.  Or to put it another way, they have a very limited
autonomy from
      the state.

(3) One of the main activities (maybe *the* main activity) of the group was to
      kidnap businessmen and hold them for ransom.

(4) Their other main activity is/was truce-seeking vis-a-vis the government,
as I
      outlined in my previous post.  The MPP suggests that no extreme military
      force was ever applied against them, at least during the Garcia
period.  This
      changed, I think (but could be wrong!) in the Fujimori period.  Of
course, it
      may well have been unnecessary, since according to Bill Langan, the MRTA
      has been "fraught by internal power struggles resulting in public
splits, de-
      sertions, and murders of rival leaders" ("Revolutionary Movements, Theory
      and Practice: The Peruvian Experience of the 1980s." Radical Chains No. 4.
      London. 1993?.  -- I think this paper is connected to the Love & Rage
      anarchists: anti-MRTA and anti-Sendero.  Anyone have any info?)

In any event, I've put in requests down at the library for some ILL
materials that hopefully will arrive w/in a couple of weeks.  I'll post more
info as I receive it.

-- Matt D.

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