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NCJ Number: 69570 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Ambiguities of Political Terrorism in Central America
Journal: Terrorism  Volume:4  Issue:1-4  Dated:(1980)  Pages:267-276
Author(s): T P Anderson
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 10
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
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Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
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Box 6000
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United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A decade of left-wing terrorism in Central American has spawned a number of reactionary counterterrorist groups whose rightist ideology has degenerated into pseudo-Marxism and finally into gangsterism.
Abstract: Since the early 1960's, left-wing terrorism has been common in several Central American countries. Increasingly, several varieties of terror coexist with the original leftist movements; most obvious is overt right-wing terrorism by such groups as the Mano Blanca in Guatemala and the Union Guerrera in El Salvador. These groups are often linked to forces within these countries' governments and have thus become semi-official terrorist organizations. A curious offshoot of this right-wing terror is pseudo-leftist terror, in which deeds committed by the Right are pinned on the Left. The latest and most sinister development in the area is gangster terrorism, in which political motives are used as a cover for operations that are in fact designed to enrich the participants. Terrorist activity in Guatemala, Nicaragua, and El Salvador illustrates the process of leftist terror leading to right-wing terror, to government repression, and to an identification with the general climate of violence. Thus, the overall pattern suggests the introduction of Marxist terrorism inciting counterterrorism and the deadly combination in turn forming a class of individuals, perhaps originally motivated by idealistic considerations, who have turned to terrorism as a way of life. Additionally, one unlooked-for result of the American-supported counterinsurgency training given to anticommunist groups in the region has been to create a class of persons well versed in every technique of ambush and demolition, and evidently ready to use these skills for a bewildering variety of ends. Notes are provided.
Index Term(s): Central America; Counter-terrorism tactics; Marxism; Organized crime; Political influences; Political offenders; Revolutionary or terrorist groups; Socioeconomic impact of terrorism; Terrorist ideologies; Violence
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