Peruvian Guerrilla Group shoot dead eight LGBT members (May 31, 1989) - History Key

Peruvian Guerrilla Group shoot dead eight LGBT members (May 31, 1989)

Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA) was a radical group from Peru. The group started in 1980s with the “union” of the Marxist-Leninist Revolutionary Socialist Party and the Revolutionary Left Movement. One of their main goals was to establish a Marxist regime and eliminate all the imperialist elements from Peru.

“Protecting social illnesses”

One of their first known action occurred in May 31, 1982 when some of its members robbed a bank in the capital of Peru, Lima. During the robbery, one of its members was killed by friendly fire which made him the first victim of the movement. From that moment, MRTA was taken into sight by Peru’s government. Therefore, they ability to carry out terrorist attacks has diminished for the next few years.

Coincidence or not, their next important movement was also on May 31, but in 1989. More exactly, a group of six members shot dead eight transsexuals and homosexuals in a bar from Tarapoto, Peru. The MRTA proudly claimed the killings and more over they accused the Peruvian authorities of “protecting social illnesses.” Therefore, this date is considered by the Peruvian LGBT movement a historical landmark.

Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement
Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement © Image Source: La Republica/blogcyh.com

Assault over the Japanese embassy

Unfortunately the terrorist attacks didn’t stop there. MRTA was a fearful organization that managed to scare the Peruvians. During their “threatening propaganda”, the Peruvian authorities managed to develop a counterterrorist program. The MRTA suffered arrests or deaths of some of its leaders and also lost the leftist support.

As a counterattack, the MRTA took over the Japanese embassy in Lima in 1996, which is known as the biggest “movement” of the Guerrilla group. They hold about 490 people hostage in the Japanese embassy’s building asking for the release of their imprisoned members. They hold them for several weeks until the Peruvian troops assaulted the building and killed all the guerrillas.

Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement’s name was inspired from the Indian revolutionary Tupac Amaru II. He is known for leading the Peruvian Indians in a rebellion against Spanish troops before their independence.

Tupac Amaru II
Tupac Amaru II © Image Source: Wikipedia

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