Traditional Marxist-Leninist revolutionary movement formed in 1983 from remnants of the Movement of the Revolutionary Left, a Peruvian insurgent group active in the 1960s. Aims to establish a Marxist regime and to rid Peru of all imperialist elements (primarily US and Japanese influence). Peru’s counterterrorist program has diminished the group’s ability to carry out terrorist attacks, and the MRTA has suffered from infighting, the imprisonment or deaths of senior leaders, and loss of leftist support. In 2002, several MRTA members remained imprisoned in Bolivia.
Previously conducted bombings, kidnappings, ambushes, and assassinations, but recent activity has fallen drastically. In December 1996, 14 MRTA members occupied the Japanese Ambassador’s residence in Lima and held 72 hostages for more than four months. Peruvian forces stormed the residence in April 1997 rescuing all but one of the remaining hostages and killing all 14 group members, including the remaining leaders. The group has not conducted a significant terrorist operation since and appears more focused on obtaining the release of imprisoned MRTA members.
Believed to be no more than 100 members, consisting largely of young fighters who lack leadership skills and experience.
Peru with supporters throughout Latin America and Western Europe. Controls no territory.