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Fullname: Túpac Amaru Revolutionary Movement

(Movimiento Revolucionario Túpac Amaru)

Alias: MRTA
Origin: Peru
Foundation: 1982
Commanders: Víctor Polay
Peter Cárdenas Schulte
Néstor Cerpa Cartolini
Goals: Establish a Socialist state in Peru (Failed)
Crimes: Terrorism

The Túpac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA) (spanish: Movimiento Revolucionario Túpac Amaru) was a terrorist organization of a communist and Guevarist style that operated between 1984 and 1997 in Peru.

It was founded in 1984 by Víctor Polay, in the Context of the Internal Conflict in Peru, with the aim of establishing a socialist state in Peru, and taking many inspirations from Che Guevara.

Among the actions committed by the MRTA, are the use of car bombs to attack State Armed Institutions, the murder of police and military, extortion, murder, kidnappings and other crimes against humanity.

Many of these actions were directed mainly against the government of Peru, although they also fought against the terrorist group Shining Path.

The MRTA was also a homophobic group, this was reflected in the Tarapoto Massacre, where members of the MRTA killed 8 homosexual people in what could be considered a hate crime.

In 1996, 14 MRTA members commanded by Néstor Cerpa Cartolini seized the Japanese embassy in Lima, capturing 800 hostages (although they released some hostages who were not targeting), in an event that ended after the Peruvian army launched an armed raid and released the hostages.

At present, this organization is disarticulated at the military level, but there are indications that some of its former members were trying to rebuild an organizational structure until at least the first decade of the 21st century, 14 15 infiltrating civilian organizations on the extreme left.


The first action by the MRTA occurred on 31 May 1982, when five of its members, including Victor Polay 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.

On the midnight of September 28, 1984, members of the MRTA fired on the United States Embassy, causing damage but no casualties. The MRTA members were disguised as police, and fled after receiving returning fire from Peruvian guards. The MRTA claimed responsibility for the attack in a message sent to the United States embassy. 

Peru's counterterrorist program diminished the group's ability to carry out terrorist attacks, and the MRTA suffered from infighting as well as violent clashes with Maoist rival Shining Path, the imprisonment or deaths of senior leaders, and loss of leftist support. The MRTA's attempt to expand in to rural areas put them in conflict with the Shining Path, where they failed to compete with the more radical group.

Shining Path's strength in the countryside forced the MRTA to largely remain in their urban and middle-class base.

On 6 July 1992, MRTA fighters staged a raid on the town of Jaen, Peru, a jungle town located in the northern department of Cajamarca. One policeman, Eladio Garcia Tello, responded to the calls for help. After an intense shootout, the guerrillas were driven out of the town. Eladio Garcia perished in the firefight.

MRTA's last major action resulted in the 1997 Japanese embassy hostage crisis. In December 1996, 14 MRTA members occupied the Japanese Ambassador's residence in Lima, holding 72 hostages for more than four months. Under orders from then-President Alberto Fujimori, armed forces stormed the residence in April 1997, rescuing all but one of the remaining hostages and killing all 14 MRTA militants. Fujimori was publicly acclaimed for the decisive action, but the affair was later tainted by subsequent revelations that at least three, and perhaps as many as eight, of the MRTistas were summarily executed after they surrendered. The Japanese embassy hostage crisis marked the end of MRTA as any threat to the Peruvian state and effectively dissolved the group.

In 2001, several MRTA members remained imprisoned in Bolivia.