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NCJ Number: 69376 Find in a Library
Title: URBAN GUERRILLAS IN LATIN AMERICA
Journal: CONFLICT STUDIES  Issue:8  Dated:(OCTOBER 1970)  Pages:COMPLETE ISSUE
Author(s): R MOSS
Corporate Author: Institute for the Study of 12/12a Golden Square
United Kingdom
Date Published: 1970
Page Count: 22
Sponsoring Agency: Institute for the Study of 12/12a Golden Square
London, W1R 3AF, England
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: THE BACKGROUNDS AND STRATEGIES OF LATIN AMERICAN URBAN GUERRILLA GROUPS ARE DESCRIBED IN THIS REPORT FROM OCTOBER 1970.
Abstract: LATIN AMERICA'S GUERRILLAS HAVE MADE THE CITY THEIR TARGET SINCE THE DEATH OF CHE GUEVARA. ALTHOUGH THEY HAD BEEN PESSIMISTIC ABOUT THE PROSPECTS FOR SUCCESSFUL CITY-BASED OPERATIONS, GUEVARA'S DEATH STRENGTHENED THE ARGUMENT OF THE MOSCOW-LINE COMMUNIST PARTIES THAT GUERRILLA OPERATIONS WITHOUT PARTY BACKING WERE 'AN INFANTILE DISORDER' AND THAT REVOLUTION WOULD BE POSSIBLE ONLY WITH THE SUPPORT OF THE URBAN WORKING CLASS. AT THE SAME TIME, IT BECAME CLEAR THAT PROVINCIAL REVOLTS RARELY POSED A DIRECT THREAT TO THE GOVERNMENT IN COUNTRIES WHERE INDUSTRY, WEALTH, AND POWER ARE CONCENTRATED IN A FEW ENORMOUS METROPOLI. AS LONG AS A GOVERNMENT WAS CONFIDENT OF ITS HOLD OVER THE INDUSTRIAL CENTERS, IT WOULD BE ABLE TO MOBILIZE TROUPS IN OVERWHELMING NUMBERS FOR SERVICE IN THE PROVINCES. FURTHERMORE, THE RURAL GUERRILLAS SUFFERED FROM THE LACK OF A POLITICAL BASE AND FROM SHRINKING SUPPORT FROM CUBA. THE SHIFT TO THE CITIES WAS ALSO AN ATTEMPT TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF LATIN AMERICA'S PHENOMENAL URBAN GROWTH. THE POLICE NORMALLY KEPT AWAY FROM THE SLUMS WHICH COULD PROVIDE THE GUERRILLAS WITH HIDEOUTS AND QUICK ESCAPE ROUTES. SYMPATHETIC PRIESTS COULD PROVIDE COMMUNICATIONS; LIAISON COULD BE DEVELOPED WITH TRADE UNIONS; AND CITY OPERATIONS WOULD BE BETTER PUBLICIZED. THE BASIC AIMS OF THE TERRORISTS, WHO OPERATE IN SMALL CELLS OF FOUR OR FIVE MEN, ARE TO PLACE THE GOVERNMENTS ON THE DEFENSIVE, TO CREATE A GENERAL SENSE OF INSECURITY, AND TO ISOLATE THE REGIMES BY FORCING THEM TO RESORT TO COUNTERPRODUCTIVE REPRESSIONS AGAINST THE PEOPLE. THEY WELCOME THE BREAKDOWN OF THE NORMAL LEGAL AND CONSTITUTIONAL RESTRAINTS IN ORDER TO CREATE CONDITIONS FAVORABLE TO CIVIL WAR. FURTHERMORE, THE GUERRILLAS THINK IN TERMS OF A CONTINENTAL, RATHER THAN A PURELY NATIONALISTIC REVOLUTION. THEY WELCOME INTERVENTION FROM THE UNITED STATES BECAUSE IT ENABLES THEM TO RALLY SUPPORT FOR A POPULAR CAUSE: RESISTANCE TO FOREIGN DOMINATION. THE ORIGINS OF VARIOUS GUERRILLA MOVEMENTS ARE BRIEFLY REVIEWED; AND CASE HISTORIES OF GUERILLA ACTIVITIES IN GUATEMALA, BRAZIL, AND URUGUAY DEMONSTRATE RESEMBLANCES BETWEEN THE VARIOUS MOVEMENTS' TACTICS AND AIMS. FOUR MAPS ILLUSTRATE THE EXTENT OF THE RURAL AND URBAN REVOLTS, AND LATIN AMERICAN POPULATION DISTRIBUTIONS AND DEPENDENCE ON CASH CROPS. OTHER SUPPORTING MATERIALS ARE NOT PROVIDED.
Index Term(s): Latin America; Latin American terrorist groups; Terrorist ideologies; Terrorist profiles; Terrorist tactics; Tupamaros; Urban guerrilla warfare
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=69376

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