Left Wing Terrorism in Chile

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Manuel Rodríguez Patriotic Front Flag.
MIR Flag.
VOP Flag.

The MIR (Revolutionary Left Movement, Chile), Manuel Rodríguez Patriotic Front and other Left Wing guerillas and supporting leftists among the civilian population waged a revolutionary war in Chile from 1965 until 1989. The Chilean Left Wing Guerrillas and supporters initially advocated revolution to overthrow Chilean Christian Democrat President Eduardo Nicanor Frei Montalva (1964-1970) in order to establish a Communist dictatorship.[1] By 1969, the MIR had developed an underground structure of armed platoons across Chile. These platoons began to rob banks to fund operations, giving some stolen money to the poor in a propaganda move. At its strongest in 1970, the MIR had some 40,000 members. As the threat of a military coup increased, the MIR helped Allende build up militias in order to fight off the Chilean Army. 13,000 foreign nationals also helped leftists train in the countryside with Russian-supplied weapons.[2]

On September 4, 1970, when Chileans elected as president Salvador Allende Gossens a Marxist, the MIR decided to carry out his socialist reforms by force. In December 1971, Chilean women organized the highly successful March of the Empty Pots in Santiago to protest against Allende. Thousands of women — numbers vary from 15,000 to 50,000 — marched through the streets of the Chilean capital Santiago, banging empty pots and pans and yelling slogans against the Socialist reforms.[3]

The leftists violence and civilian protests against Allende resulted in the military coup led by General Augusto Pinochet on September 11, 1973 who largely defeated the marxist guerrillas and left-wing radicals hidden among the civilian population through detentions, disappearances and counterinsurgency warfare.[4] In late 1974, Andrés Pascal Allende, nephew of the late president Allende Gossens, assumed leadership of the remnants of the MIR and continued to attack military and civilian targets.

Guerrilla warfare

During the first three months of the Augusto Pinochet regime (Chile, 1973–90), the Chilean armed forces and carabiniers suffered 162 killed in operations against the Marxist guerrillas and civilian supporters of the MIR and Chilean Communist Party.[5] At least 254 members of the Chilean Security Forces were killed in the line of duty from 1973 to 1989.[6][7] East Germany had helped arm Allende's Unidad Popular (Unity Popular or UP) government, supplying 5,000 sub-machine-guns to the guerrillas.[8]

Chilean leftist terrorists detonated 1,729 bombs between January 1, 1985 and April 30, 1986.[9] From 1983 to 1986, the main Chilean bomb squad reportedly deactivated 2,083 bombs planted by leftists in the major cities.

At the end of March 2013, it was announced that the Chilean government was considering a proposal by parliamentarians to compensate the nearly 30,000 Chilean conscripts mobilized after the Coup d'état and that remained almost double the expected time in uniform.[10]

Experts believe that Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD) is behind the 250 reported cases of suicide among former Chilean conscripts, during the last four decades.

Civilian losses

During the first week of September 1973, Juan Romero, Luis Menares, Andrés Osorio and Mario Montucci were killed during confrontations involving truckers protesting against the government of Allende and carabineers sent to break the strike.[11] That same week, police shot and killed a 16-year-old student (Gunter Warenker Contreras) protesting against Allende. Prior to these incidents, 500 Chileans (mainly farm hands and factory workers) were killed or maimed resisting leftists taking over their farms, factories and other places of work.

During the 1980s, 53 civilians were killed and hundreds wounded as a result of bombings and raids carried out by Chilean Marxist terrorists and their leftist supporters hidden among the civilian population.

Another 100 civilians died and 510 were injured according to the Gustavo Fricke Hospital at Valparaíso that treated the survivors, after the head-on collision and derailment of two express trains when MIR terrorists sabotaged one of the train lines in Limache, 100 kilometres north of Santiago.[12][13][14] At least five children were reported to be among the dead and 10 others seriously injured.[15]

At least 1,510 Chilean servicemen and civilians were permanently disabled as a result of leftist terrorism in the 1970s and 1980s.[16]

Terrorism in the 1970s

Between August 1969 and September 1970, MIR Marxist Guerrillas operating in Santiago carried out 12 armed robberies of banks and businesses in order to finance their operations.

In the police and military operations carried against the MIR rural hideouts in 1969 and 1970, a guerrilla training camp is discovered in San José de Maipo (Guayacán) and another one at Corral (Chaihuín).

On February 5, 1970, Left Wing Radical Pedro Lenin Valenzuela attempts to hijack a plane and take it to Cuba. In the resulting gunfight at the Chilean International Airport, a flight attendant, Scarlet Burgos and a detective are wounded. Valenzuela is killed in the return fire.[17]

The next day, a policeman (carabineer Luis Merino Ferreira) is killed in a clash with guerrillas.[18]

On May 17, 1970, a guerrilla mountain hideout is discovered on Cerro Mirador in Valdivia, along with weaponry disembarked nearby at Punta Galera.[19]

On May 22, 1970, fifteen leftists carry out an armed robbery of the Banco Nacional del Trabajo branch in Santiago.

On June 10, 1970, leftists steal arms and ammunition from the Armería Italiana in Santiago.

On June 19, 1970, leftist plant and detonate a bomb in the City Bank branch in the suburb of Providencia in Santiago.

On June 29, 1970, leftists plant and detonate a bomb in the Casino de Carabineros in Iquique.

On August 11, 1970, MIR guerrillas shoot and kill a police NCO, Corporal Luis Fuentes Pineda.

On September 21, 1970, guerrillas shoot and kill another police NCO, Corporal Armando Cofré López, during a bank robbery in the suburb of Irarrázabal in Santiago.[20]

On December 2, 1970, a leftist opens fire and mortally wounds 23-year-old Arnoldo Ríos Alarcón studying journalism in the University of Concepción.[21]

On April 4, 1971, socialist militants in Aysén shoot and kill 18-year-old Juan Millalonco, a member of Christian Democratic Youth.[22]

On 19 April 1971, Rolando Matus is shot dead resisting the takeover of his Carén land in Pucón.

On April 30, 1971, 65-year-old Domitila Palma Ponce dies confronting 40 Mapuche leftists that were taking over her nephew's Brasil Sur land in Lautaro.[23]

That same day, Jorge Baraona Puelma dies resisting the takeover of his Nilahue land in Colchagua.

According to police records submitted to the Chilean senate, Left-Wing Radicals and Guerrillas illegally occupied 1,458 farms between November 1970 and December 1971.[24]

On 24 May 1971, VOP Marxist guerrillas in an armed robbery of a bank money transfer van shoot and mortally wound a policeman (Corporal José Arnaldo Gutiérrez Urrutia) and wound two accompanying Miramar supermarket employees.

In June 1971, VOP guerrillas killed Edmundo Perez Zujovic, a Christian Democrat and former interior minister.

That same month, another marxist guerrilla (46-year-old Heriberto Salazar) of the VOP walked into police headquarters in Santiago with a sub-machinegun and kills three detectives (Gerardo Romero Infante, Heriberto Mario Marín and Carlos Pérz Bretti) before blowing himself up with dynamite, and a carabineer corporal (Jorge Cartes) is killed by MIR guerrillas in the MIR stronghold of Concepción.

On 10 October 1971, police discover dynamite and TNT sticks in the car of a leftist university student, that was meant to be delivered to guerrillas operating in the woodlands of Valdivia.

On 17 October 1971, seven adults and twelve children are kidnapped in Melipilla, during the leftist takeover of properties.

On 28 October 1971, police raid a MIR Guerrilla camp in Loncoche in southern Chile and discover 24 dynamite sticks and 16 bombs and other weaponry.

On 31 October 1971, Comandante Pepe and 150 MIR Guerrillas seize the Niltre estate in Panguipulli.

On 7 November 1971, the Movimiento Campesino Revolucionario seizes 75 farming properties in the Cautín Province.

On 1 December 1971, 50,000-200,000 women took to the streets of Santiago to protest against Salvador Allende's Unidad Popular government. Their peaceful march turns ugly when leftists attacked the women with rocks. However, their Marcha de las Cacerolas Vacías (March of the Empty Pots) signaled the beginning of a massive coordinated anti-Allende movement. To keep the memory alive of the march, women in the middle-class and affluent suburbs of Santiago banged on pots every night for two hours for several months.

On 14 December 1971, leftists under the command of Comandante Mickey (MIR commander Alejandro Villalobos) seize the La Florida Suburb of Santiago

On January 19, 1972, Raúl Quezada Moreno, a 52-year-old farmer and father of 8 children, is clubbed to death by left-wing activists from the 'Movimiento Campesino Revolucionario' (MCR) for resisting the seizure of his land.[25]

On July 24, 1972, leftists under the command of a former Chilean Army Black Beret, Mario Melo, seize a supermarket and petrol station in the Lo Hermida Suburb in Santiago.

On August 15, 1972, ten Marxist Guerrillas arrive in Pudahuel International Airport in Santiago and obtain sanctuary in Chile, after having hijacked a plane at gunpoint following their escape from Argentina.

On August 30, 1972, a carabineer corporal (Exequiel Aroca Cuevas) is killed in the City of Concepción, when leftists open fire on the police anti-riot bus he was travelling.[26]

On 3 December 1972, fifty leftists brandishing sidearms and clubs, seize a Paños Continental factory, leaving nine employees injured in the process.

On February 27, 1973, MIR Guerrillas attacked and destroyed the Llanquihue police station, shooting and wounding 10 carabineers in the fierce gun-battle.[27]

On March 11, 1973, a leftist bomb planted in the city of Valparaíso wounds two local women, Irma Araya and María Vera.[28]

That same month, 16-year-old Germán Enrique González and 17-year-old Sergio Oscar Vergara, both members of the Christian Democrat Party were killed while resisting the leftist takeover of the La Reina estate.

On April 2, 1973, MIR Guerrillas operating in Santiago shoot and kill a police detective, Gabriel Rodríguez Alcaíno.[29]

In May 1973, Mario Aguilar, a member of the Movimiento Patria y Libertad is gunned down by leftists in downtown Santiago.

On 8 July 1973, police discover in a Corporación de la Reforma Agraria (CORA) government van, 150 sidearms, 150 hand grenades and 300 petrol bombs and six submachineguns meant to be delivered to guerrillas in Santiago.

On 27 July 1973, a farmer and member of the Christian Democrat Party, Jorge Mena, is surrounded by leftists and clubbed to death in Osorno.

The next day, another farmer, Juan Luis Urrutia, dies resisting the leftist takeover of his land in Bulnes.

On 30 July, MIR Guerrillas kill Manuel Garrido, an employee of Paños Continental in a confrontation that also involved Brazilian leftists.

On 27 August 1973, Sergio Aliaga, while driving through a confrontation between anti-Allende striking truckers and leftist militants, is killed after being caught in the violent clash and shot in the throat.

On August 29, 1973, a Mexican leftist (Jorge Albino Sosa Gil) working in Chile, shoots and kills Second Lieutenant Héctor Lacrampette Calderón with a shot to the head, as the young army officer was waiting for a bus in the suburb of Las Condes in Santiago.[30]

The next day, two farm workers (José Toribio Núñez and Celsa Fuentes) are killed after suffering horrific burns when caught in the bomb blast targeting the pipeline between Santiago and Concepción.

On 4 September 1973, police shoot and kill a 16-year-old student (Gunter Warenker Contreras) protesting against the government of Allende. That same day, a guerrilla camp is discovered in Nehuentúe.

The next day, Juan Romero, Luis Menares, Andrés Osorio and Mario Montucci are killed during confrontations involving truckers protesting against Allende and carabineers sent to break the strike.

On 8 September 1973, soldiers from the Temuco Garrison raid a Guerrilla Camp at Mamuil Malal and capture 13 guerrillas.

During the military coup that ousted president Salvador Allende, the military and police report 34 deaths in the space of 48 hours battling leftists: two army sergeants, three army corporals, four army privates, 2 marine lieutenants, 1 marine corporal, 4 marine cadets, 3 marine conscripts and 15 policemen.

Among the army fallen is 19 year-old Private Julio Antilef, shot dead by leftists that had used an ambulance to trick the army conscript as he stood guard outside a Chilean ENTEL telecommunications building in downtown Santiago.[31]

On 19 September 1973, Army Private Gerardo León Acuña is killed when he loses control of his military vehicle while on patrol.

On 1 October 1973, leftist militants in support of the MIR attack a military vehicle, killing Army Private Pedro Prado Ortiz.

On 7 November 1973, leftist guerrillas in Santiago open fire on an army truck in the suburb of La Florida, killing Army Private Agustín Correa Contreras.

On 13 November 1973, MIR guerrillas shoot and kill Army Corporal Juan Castro Vega.

On 17 November 1973, MIR guerrillas shoot and kill Army Sergeant Waldo Morales Neal.

On 19 November 1973, while on guard duty in Osorno, Army Private Clemente Santibáñez Vargas is killed.

On November 28, 1973, MIR guerrillas operating in the Conchalí suburb of Santiago, shoot and kill Army Corporal Ramón Madariaga Valdebenito.[32]

On December 3, 1973, MIR guerrillas ambush a Chilean Army foot patrol and kill two non-commissioned officers, Corporal Rodolfo Peña Tapia and Luis Collao Salas, and a conscript, Julio Barahona Aranda.[33]

On December 13, 1973, two Army Sergeants, Sergio Cannon Lermanda and Pedro Osorio Guerrero are killed while on patrol in Bulnes.[34]

On December 15, 1973, guerrillas operating in the suburb of La Reina in Santiago, shoot and kill Army Corporal Roberto Barra Martínez.

On December 26, 1973, leftist guerrillas open fire on an army jeep, killing Private José Luis Huerta Abarca.[35] By the end of the year, Chilean police would claim to have discovered a huge arsenal of weapons obtained from abroad, including 5,000 modern HK-33 assault rifles and corresponding ammunition in the millions and large quantities of 20mm anti-tank projectiles.[36]

In February 1974, the MIR announced an alliance with the Bolivian ELN, the Uruguayan Tupamaros and Argentinian ERP and Montoneros guerrilla organizations, but this threat to Pinochet was largely neutralized with the Argentinian military coup that took place in March 1976. Nevertheless, at least 100 highly trained MIR terrorists reentered Chile in late 1980, and the MIR would claim responsibility for a number of bombings and bank robberies.[37]

Terrorism in the 1980s

On July 15, 1980, three guerrillas disguised as street workmen, stop the vehicle of Lieutenant Colonel Roger Vergara Campos, director of the Army's Intelligence School in Chile, killing him and wounding in a hail of bullets his driver (Sergeant Mario Espinoza Navarro) with their AK 47 assault rifles, causing a woman who witnessed the terrorist attack to fall into a deep state of shock.[38]

On December 30, 1980, MIR guerrillas kill two carabinier NCOs, 31-year-old Corporal Washington Godoy Palma, and 27-year-old Corporal Daniel Alberto González Leiva.[39]

In February 1981, in a war communiqué sent to the various press agencies of Santiago, the MIR guerrillas claim to have carried out more than 100 successful operations during 1980, including bomb attacks against the main electricity towers on November 11, which caused widespread blackouts in Santiago and Valparaiso, and bomb attacks on three banks in the capital on December 30 in which a police officer was shot dead and at least three civilians wounded.

On July 6, 1981,a MIR terrorist, Carlos Bruit Gutiérrez, kills Chilean Army Sergeant-Major Carlos Enrique Tapia Barraza. Gutiérrez would later be pardoned and set free in an amnesty only benefiting the left.

On July 15, 1981, MIR gunmen operating in the suburb of Ñuñoa, Santiago, shoot in the head and gravely wound a female police officer, Major Ingrid Olderock from the National Intelligence Directorate (Dirección de Inteligencia Nacional or DINA). She would succumb to her wounds in 2001.

On September 14, 1981, during attempts to establish an operations base in Neltume, southern Chile, seven MIR fighters were killed in clashes with the local police.[40]

On September 19, 1981, army private Víctor Manuel Silva Nahuelpan is killed during counterinsurgency operations in the Neltume area.

In November 1981, MIR guerrillas kill three members of the Investigative Police in an ambush, and also attempt to assassinate the Supreme Court President Israel Bórquez Montero.

In further operations carried in November 1981, units of the Chilean Army destroy two MIR bases in the Neltume mountains, capturing large ammunition depots in the process.

In revenge attacks, MIR militants carry out twenty-three bomb attacks during March and April 1982.

In the last week of August 1983, General Pinochet reminded army cadets at the Military Academy that "The forces of order are waging total war to the death against communism."[41]

On 30 August 1983, guerrillas gun down and kill the Military Governor of Santiago, General Carol Urzúa Ibáñez and his two bodyguards, army corporals Carlos Riveros Bequiarelli and José Domingo Aguayo Franco.[42]

In October and November 1983, MIR guerrillas detonate bombs against four Chilean companies that do business with the United States.[43]

On 28 December 1983, the guerrillas kill in an ambush two policemen, carabinier Francisco Javier Pérez Brito and sergeant Manuel Jesús Valenzuela Loyola.[44]

Between December 1983 and August 1984, leftist militants and guerrillas detonate 300 bombs against banks, businesses, police stations and electricity poles, causing six blackouts in and around Santiago.[45]

On 9 March 1984, a leftist bomb planted in Restaurante Baff in downtown Santiago gravely wounds Verónica lsabel Gutiérrez-Rivas.[46]

On 31 March 1984, a police bus in downtown Santiago is destroyed by a bomb planted by Left Wing guerrillas, killing a noncommissioned officer and wounding 11 policemen and 6 civilians.[47]

On 29 April 1984, MIR guerrillas detonate 11 bombs in the Chilean capital, derailing a subway train, injuring 22 passengers in the process, including seven children.

On 17 May 1984, Jorge Eduardo Muñoz Navarro from the MIR is killed in a shootout or executed for attempting to blow up the electricity pylon in the suburb of La Renca in Santiago.[48]

On 19 May 1984, María Loreto Castillo Muñoz from the MIR is reportedly killed in a shootout or executed for attempting to blow up the electricity pylon in the suburb of La Renca in Santiago.[49]

On 5 September 1984, guerrillas operating in Copiapó shoot and kill 27-year-old Army Lieutenant Julio Briones Rayo.[50]

In the last week of October 1984, Left Wing radicals destroy a number of electricity poles, causing blackouts in several Santiago suburbs and 16 policemen are reported injured in tackling the leftist violence.[51]

On 2 November 1984, a Carabiniers bus is targeted during the Chilean national cycling championship and four police special forces are killed in the guerrilla bomb attack.[52]

On November 4, 1984, five guerrillas in a vehicle attack with automatic weapons and bombs a police station in Santiago, killing two police officers and wounding three more.

On 7 December 7, 1984, urban guerrillas kill a policeman and detonate a bomb in a subway station in Santiago, wounding 6 civilians.[53]

On 18 December 1984, guerrillas plant a bomb in the Intendance of the O'Higgins Region, wounding 12 civilians in the resulting explosion.

On March 25, 1985, MIR terrorists plant a bomb at the Araucano Hotel in Concepción, killing a marine sergeant, 32-year-old René Osvaldo Lara Arriagada and an army sergeant, 41-year-old Alejandro del Carmen Avendaño Sánchez, who were trying to defuse the bomb.[54]

On March 27, 1985, a car bomb damages two banks and a hotel in the capital, injuring seven civilians (two journalists, four office workers and a passerby) in the leftist terrorist attack. That same day, another bomb was planted in the branch of the Osorno Bank of the city of Valparaíso, seriously wounding four employees.[55]

On May 14, 1985, leftists detonate bombs in the suburbs of Lo Prado and Cerro Navia in Santiago, that wound 16 civilians.[56]

On June 27, 1985, the driver of a locomotive is killed while removing an electricity pole lying across the train track, victim of a bomb blast blamed on leftist rebels.[57]

On July 12, 1985, leftist terrorists wound three policemen in a bus with a hand grenade and detonate 15 bombs in all the major Chilean cities.

On July 19, 1985, leftists attack the United States Consulate in Santiago. In the operation, guerrillas of the Patriotic Front Manuel Rodríguez (FPMR) detonate a high explosive bomb, killing a civilian passer-by and wounding another two.[58] The following month, another leftist bomb is planted in the Paseo Ahumada, wounding another five pedestrians.

On August 9, 1985, leftist militants operating in the Chilean capital cause major blackouts in Santiago, and shoot and wound two policemen in their patrol car and destroy with Molotov cocktails four passenger buses.[59]

On August 14, 1985, a leftist bomb planted in the Savory 3 restaurant in downtown Santiago wounds a family of four, Miguel Contreras and his wife María Alcaíno, along with their children, 3-year-old Michel and 2-year-old Catherine.[60] A passerby, 26-year-old Delia Castro Cabezas and a waiter, 33-year-old Gabriel Enrique Moreno Rubín are also badly injured by flying shards of glass in the explosion.

On August 30, 1985, an arms cache of the outlawed Communist Party was discovered in Antofogasta. A great quantity of explosives from Libya were found there. According to foreign intelligence services, all this materiel was smuggled into Chile over the northern border. These explosives came from Nicaragua, where they had arrived from Libya, and the shipment for the Sandinist Revolutionary Army was diverted to the Chilean terrorist organizations.[61]

In October 1985, a woman losses both legs in Avenida Providencia when a leftist bomb detonates outside an office building. That same month, bombs planted by FPMR guerrillas in the Las Brisas supermarket and other businesses in Viña del Mar kill five civilians.[62]

On December 6, 1985, a policeman is shot dead by four leftist guerrillas who opened fire with machine guns as he walked home. That same month, 15 passenger buses in Santiago are destroyed with petrol bombs and the marxist guerrillas plant another bomb in the Santiago Metro subway, before escaping after a gun-battle with the police.

In all, 866 Left-Wing terrorist attacks take place during 1984 and 1985.[63]

On 9 January 1986, 12 year-old Rodrigo and his 8-year-old sister Ximena Nanjarí are seriously wounded, when a leftist bomb planted in Valparaíso explodes.[64]

On 5 February 1986, a MIR car bomb in downtown Santiago destroys a police bus, killing Sergeant Luis Rival Valdés, Corporal José Arias Cerda, Carabiniers Héctor López Acosta, Misael Martínez Cortés and wounding eleven policemen.[65]

On 17 February 1986, two trains collide in the Limache area killing 60 civilians and injuring at least 500 because the area had been reduced to only one railway line, after guerrillas had destroyed the nearby bridge.[66]

On 26 February 1986, leftist terrorists shoot and kill carabineer Lieutenant Alfonso Mauricio Rivera López in downtown Santiago.[67][68]

On 2 April 1986 businessman Simón Yévenes is shot and killed in downtown Santiago by guerrillas of the Manuel Rodríguez Patriotic Front.

On 29 April 1986, four FPMR guerrillas using the cover of a stolen taxi approach a military checkpoint in the suburb of Ñuñoa in Santiago and shoot and wound Army Sergeant Miguel Valenzuela Valenzuela, Corporal Ricardo Vergara Tapia and Privates Gustavo Orellana Quijada and Osvaldo Muñoz Lagos.[69]

On 1 May 1986, Left Wing Guerrillas or Radicals in Valparaiso attack with sulfuric acid passengers in a bus, seriously injuring six civilians, including two children.[70][71] That same day, an army platoon in downtown Santiago suffers two seriously wounded, Corporals Oscar Figueroa Urrutia and Roberto Opazo Tunaca, when their patrol is attacked with fire-bombs.[72]

On 4 May 1986, FMPR terrorists raid the San Miguel bus depot in Santiago. The night watchman Fernando Guzmán Vega who confronts them is shot and left a paraplegic in the attack.[73]

On 10 June 1986, leftist terrorists using the cover of a stolen taxi, gun down and badly wound Corporal Jose Aguilera Rivera of the Chilean Carabiniers.[74]

On 12 June 1986, a marine patrol discovers leftists planting a bomb in the Miraflores suburb of Viña del Mar and Corporal Luis Carvajal Zavala is badly wounded in the resulting gun-battle. The next day, terrorists operating in Santiago shoot and badly wound Carabinier Alberto López Jiménez.[75]

On 15 June 1986, in two separate leftist terrorists attacks, four policemen (Carabiniers Marcos Osorio, Lorenzo Vidal, Marcos Pozo Reyes and Carlos Urrutia Soto) are shot and wounded.[76]

On 16 June 1986, the Patriotic Front Manuel Rodríguez planted a bomb in the Tobalaba subway station of the Santiago Metro, causing one death (Jorge Campos Fardella) and six wounded (Roberto Barros Sánchez, Juan Ruiz de Mujica, Laura Barceló Muñoz, Alez Soto Chindulza, Nelson Araneda Araneda and Esteban Gutiérrez Jorquera) among the civilian population.[77]

On 30 June 1986, Corporal José Muñoz Alarcón of the Chilean Carabiniers, is gunned down and wounded by leftists attempting to set on a fire a passenger bus in Santiago.[78]

On 3 July 1986, leftists carry out an acid attack on passengers aboard a bus in Santiago causing severe burns to the driver, Arnaldo Luco Arrué, and four other civilians, Guillermo Farías Pizarro, Juan Carlos Salazar Rojas, Cristina Castro Correa and Sergio Jofré Jofré.[79]

On 4 July 1986, FPMR terrorists attack with automatic weapons and fire bombs a police patrol in Santiago, wounding Corporals Héctor San Martín Zapata, Osvaldo Hormazábal Diaz, Victor Muñoz Rojas, Rafael Quieto Hormazábal and Patricio Cruz Pérez.

On 25 July 1986, a leftist bomb planted in a garbage tin a few yards from the Presidential House, wounds 35 civilians and 1 policeman near a bus stop in downtown Santiago.[80]

On 6 August 1986, Chilean police discover 80 tons of weapons in the small fishing port of Carrizal Bajo that had arrived from Cuba to further arm the Patriotic Front Manuel Rodríguez (FPMR) and Communist Party of Chile (CCP).[81] The seized weapons include C-4 plastic explosives, 123 RPG-7 and 180 M72 anti-tank weapons, as well as 3,383 M-16 assault rifles and corresponding ammunition.

According to Chilean historian Luis Heinecke Scott, "what was wanted to be implemented here was a guerrilla war in the style of those produced in Nicaragua or El Salvador, a prolonged people's war, and that was what communism failed to do, thanks to the discoveries of Carrizal Low.[82]

In the last week of August 1986, guerrillas operating in Santiago and Valparaíso detonate 13 bombs and kill a police officer and wound 4 soldiers near the National Stadium.[83] And in the suburb of Puente Alto in Santiago, five leftists try to set fire to a bus, shooting and killing the driver, Francisco Guzmán Núñez, who opposed them.[84]

In October 1986, MIR guerrillas attack a police station in Limache with gunfire, seriously wounding five policemen, with one carabinier later dying because of his wounds.

On 5 November 1986, guerrillas attack a passenger bus in Viña del Mar with a firebomb, seriously injuring three women (Rosa Rivera Fierro, Sonia Ramírez Salinas and Marta Sepúlveda Contreras), with 37-year-old Rosa Rivera later dying because of her burns.[85]

On 12 November 1986, in a gun battle with MIR guerrillas operating in the Ñuñoa suburb of Santiago, three policemen are shot and wounded. One policeman (36-year-old Corporal Luis Serey Abarca) would die because of his wounds.[86]

On 28 November 1986, MIR guerrillas after having been pulled over by a police vehicle in the Padre Hurtado suburb of Santiago, shoot and kill 31-year-old Lieutenant Jaime Luis Sáenz Neira of the Carabiniers of Chile as he approached them.[87]

On 10 April 1987, in the San Miguel Suburb of Santiago, FMPR guerrillas raid a shoe factory and kill a security guard, Jorge Riveros Olivares.[88]

On 11 September 1987, leftists destroy a police vehicle in a bomb attack in Santiago, killing two carabiniers (48-year-old Sargeant Mario Martínez Vargas and 28-year-old Corporal Ramón Bahamondes Elgueta).[89]

During 1987 (according to the Chilean Catholic Church), there were 51 Chileans killed in violent clashes. Of these, seven deceased victims belonged to the security forces and five were civilians caught in bomb blasts and shoot-outs. The remaining 38 were killed by police agents and military forces.[90]

From 1983 to 1986, the main Chilean bomb squad reportedly deactivated 2,083 bombs planted by leftists in the major cities.

On 20 January 1988, a bomb planted by MIR guerrillas in the Capredena Medical Center in Valparaiso kills a 64-year-old female pensioner (Berta Rosa Pardo Muñoz) and wounds another 20 people, including a 1-year-old child.[91]

On January 26, 1988, MIR guerrillas plant six TNT charges in a house in La Cisterna, killing 42-year-old Major Julio Benimellis, commander of the carabiniers Special Operations Group.[92]

According to Human Rights Watch, another five carabineros were killed in April and May 1988.[93]

In June 1988, MIR guerrillas conduct a series of bombings in Santiago, damaging several banks. That month, FPMR guerrillas kill 43-year-old Lieutenant-Colonel Miguel Eduardo Rojas Lobos of the Chilean Army, after he had parked his car in the Santiago suburb of San Joaquín.

On 10 July 1989, 26-year-old Corporal Patricio Rubén Canihuante Astudillo of the Chilean Police is shot in the head at point-blank range while he guarded a building in Viña del Mar.

In December 1989, Canadian police report that 30 Brazilian business executives had been targeted for abduction by MIR guerrillas that included two Canadians, Christine Lamont and David Spencer who had joined the guerrilla movement after meeting two Chilean exiles, Sergeo Olivares and Martin Urtubia, who arrived in Canada in 1978.

Terrorism in the 1990s

The election of a civilian government in Chile did not end leftist violence. Within a few months after President Patricio Aylwin's accession to power, leftist militants showed that they remained committed to armed struggle and were responsible for a number of terrorist incidents.

  • On May 10, 1990, two guerrillas wearing school uniforms killed carabineros Colonel Luis Fontaine, a former head of the antiterrorist unit of the carabiniers, Chile's national police force
  • On August 10, 1990, two policemen were killed in a working-class Santiago suburb and two more were injured in an attack on a bus.[94]
  • In September 1990, leftist militants detonated 53 bombs that killed or wounded 83 Chileans.[95]
  • On November 14, 1990, gendarmes transferred Marco Ariel Antonioletti, a senior MJL guerrilla commander from jail to a hospital for treatment. MJL guerrillas fought their way into the Sótero del Río Hospital but were forced to withdraw, after having killed four gendarmes and one carabinero. In retaliation, Chile's Investigations Police execute Antonioletti with a shot in the forehead.
  • On January 24, 1991, MJL guerrillas ambushed and killed two carabineros.[96]
  • On February 28, 1991, a carabinero policeman died in a shoot-out in Santiago with leftist guerrillas of the Manuel Rodríguez Patriotic Front.
  • On April 1, 1991 the Conservative Senator, Ideolog of the 1980 Constitution, founder of the Independent Democrat Union party, the binominal system and the Gremialismo movement, Jaime Guzmán, was murdered by Ricardo Palma Salamanca, a leftist terrorist that today is being defended by the French Justice System since they refused to extradite him to Chile.
  • On September 9, 1991, left-wing guerrillas kidnapped Cristian Edwards, whose family run 'El Mercurio' newspaper. After his family paid US$1 million in ransom, the FPMR freed him.
  • On January 22, 1992, two FPMR guerrillas (Fabián López Luque and Alex Muñoz Hoffman) were killed trying to rob a Prosegur cash delivery armoured van at the Pontifical Catholic University in Santiago.
  • On September 11, 1998, three police stations—La Pincoya, La Granja and La Victoria—were attacked with firearms, incendiary bombs and rocks and 36 were carabineros were wounded in leftist violence related to the 25th anniversary commemorations of the military coup.

Terrorism in the 2000s and 2010s

Main article: Terrorism in the South of Chile and Argentina
Logo of the Coordinadora Arauco-Malleco terrorist group.
Flag commonly used to revindicate the Mapuche cause (violent takeover of lands of non-Mapuche people) and to claim a separation from the Chilean State.

In clashes with leftists commemorating the 35th anniversary of the military coup, 29 carabineros were wounded in September 2008.[97] In September 2009, 19 Carabineros were wounded in clashes with anti-military protestors marking the 36th anniversary of the coup.[98] The lootings and other forms of appropriation that took place in the aftermath of the devastating 2010 earthquake in Chile, were in part promoted and legitimated by the MIR movement.[99]

In the 2000s and 2010s the left uses the Indigenismo ideology to justify illegal land takeovers, burning of trucks,[100] churches[101] and terrorizing people whom they consider are against the Mapuche cause (a separatist movement inspired by Anarcho-Communism), the Chilean Justice is mainly controlled by the Left and the terrorist rarely go to jail.

The terrorist attacks are common in the Araucanía, Biobío and Los Ríos region,[102][103][104][105] and are occurring many times, the Government is not doing much since the Left, and the National Human Rights Institute defends the terrorists,[106] many of them even have been converted into martyrs like Camilo Catrillanca.[107] The Mapuche community of Temucuicui is a place were the police cannot enter, because the residents act violently every time.[108][109]

This conflict is also occurring in Argentina.

  • On January 4, 2013 an elderly couple, Werner Luchsinger and Vivianne Mackay were burned alive inside their house in the Araucanía Región.[110][111]

See 2019 Chilean State of Emergency.


  1. "The Movement of the Revolutionary Left (MIR) waged a revolutionary terrorist struggle in Chile from 1965 until 1989. The MIR initially advocated revolution to overthrow the longest-standing democracy in Latin America in order to establish a Marxist regime." World Terrorism: An Encyclopedia of Political Violence from Ancient Times to the Post-9/11 Era, James Ciment, p. 196, Routledge, 2015
  2. "Más o menos 13 mil instructores y aventureros extranjeros adiestran con armas soviéticas a los grupos de terroristas chilenos de extrema izquierda para la lucha por el poder." Victoria sin Guerra, Graf Hans Huyn, p. 280, Andres Bello, 1987
  3. Right-Wing Women in Chile
  4. "In 1970, when Chile elected as president Salvador Allende a Marxist, the MIR decided to implement his policies by force. This prompted a military coup led by General Augusto Pinochet who struck a blow against the Left from which the MIR never recovered." World Terrorism: An Encyclopedia of Political Violence from Ancient Times to the Post-9/11 Era, James Ciment, p. 196, Routledge, 2015
  5. Latin America's Wars: The Age of the Professional Soldier, 1900–2001, Robert L. Scheina, p. 326, Potomac Books, 2003
  7. La otra cara de los derechos humanos en Chile
  8. "También el gobierno liberal-socialista de Bonn entrega armas al régimen de Allende: por lo menos 5 mil ametralladoras." Victoria sin Guerra, Graf Hans Huyn, p. 280, Andres Bello, 1987
  9. Castro's America Department: Coordinating Cuba's Support for Marxist-Leninist Violence in the Americas, Rex A. Hudson, p.54, Cuban American National Foundation, 1988
  10. Los conscriptos de entre 1973 y 1990 podrían recibir US$ 40 millones de indemnización
  11. Los hechos que marcaron la edición del miércoles 5 de septiembre de 1973
  12. "The crash occurred on a single line of track which had been damaged in early 1986 by a bomb attack." Keesing's Contemporary Archives, Volume 32, Keesing's Limited, 1986
  13. 100 muertos y 500 heridos en un choque de trenes en Chile
  14. Queronque, a 30 años: en el andén de la muerte
  15. Gadsden Times, Page 4, 18 February 1986
  16. La otra cara de los derechos humanos en Chile
  17. De los Boeing 707 a los Boeing 727
  18. Chile Informa
  19. Presentación del Ejército de Chile a la Comisión Nacional de Verdad y Reconciliación, Volume 1, p. 88, Ejército de Chile, 1990
  20. Los hechos de violencia en Chile, María de los Angeles Aylwin Ramírez, Soledad Reyes del Villar, p. 223, Fundación Libertad y Desarrollo, 2003
  21. Biblioteca del Congreso Nacional de Chile
  22. Biblioteca del Congreso Nacional de Chile
  23. Biblioteca del Congreso Nacional de Chile
  24. Biblioteca del Congreso Nacional de Chile
  25. Breve historia de la unidad popular, Teresa Donoso Loero, p. 129, El Mercurio, 1973
  26. Breve historia de la unidad popular, Teresa Donoso Loero, p. 218, El Mercurio, 1973
  27. La verdad olvidada del terrorismo en Chile, 1968-1996, Arturo Castillo Vicencio, p. 76, Editorial Maye Ltda, 2007
  28. La verdad olvidada del terrorismo en Chile, 1968-1996, Arturo Castillo Vicencio, p. 77, Editorial Maye Ltda, 2007
  29. La verdad olvidada del terrorismo en Chile, 1968-1996, Arturo Castillo Vicencio, p. 77, Editorial Maye Ltda, 2007
  30. HACE 38 AÑOS ATRÁS...UN 29 DE AGOSTO DE 1973
  31. La historia de los pelados del ’73: Los soldados que asaltaron Santiago
  32. Presentación del Ejército de Chile a la Comisión Nacional de Verdad y Reconciliación, Volume 1, p. 463, Ejército de Chile, 1990
  33. Presentación del Ejército de Chile a la Comisión Nacional de Verdad y Reconciliación, Volume 1, p. 463, Ejército de Chile, 1990
  34. Presentación del Ejército de Chile a la Comisión Nacional de Verdad y Reconciliación, Volume 1, p. 463, Ejército de Chile, 1990
  35. Presentación del Ejército de Chile a la Comisión Nacional de Verdad y Reconciliación, Volume 1, p. 463, Ejército de Chile, 1990
  36. Die Niederlage wird zum Sieg: Revolution und Konter-revolution in Chile, p. 105, Liga gegen den Imperialismus, 1974
  37. "By late 1980, at least 100 highly trained MIR terrorists had reentered Chile, and the MIR had claimed responsibility for a number of bombings and bank robberies." United States Congressional Serial Set, p. 247, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1984
  38. Chilean officer dies in ambush by 3 terrorists
  39. Historia Oral e Historia Política: Izquierda y Lucha Armada en América Latina, 1960-1990, Pablo Pozzi, LOM Ediciones, 2012
  40. "On 14 September 1981, during attempts to set up bases within Chile and to create a liberated zone in the Neltume, Valdivia region in southern Chile, seven MIR fighters were killed by police." Historical Dictionary of Terrorism, Stephen Sloan, Sean K. Anderson, p. 447, Scarecrow Press, 2009
  41. Undercover Police Shoot, Kill 8 Anti-Government Suspects
  42. Despierta Chile/Mártires del terrorismo
  43. "...the MIR bombed four offices of US-affiliated corporations in a 10-day period in October and November of 1983..." Historical Dictionary of Terrorism, Stephen Sloan, Sean K. Anderson, p. 447, Scarecrow Press, 2009
  44. La verdad olvidada del terrorismo en chile
  45. Undercover Police Shoot, Kill 8 Anti-Government Suspects
  46. Chile Cronica De Un Asedio, Luis Heinecke Scott, p.39, 1992
  47. Bomb explodes under police bus in Chile killing officer, injuring 17
  48. Jorge Eduardo MUÑOZ NAVARRO
  49. María Loreto CASTILLO MUÑOZ
  50. Mártires del terrorismo
  51. Demonstrators Battle Police; Six Are Killed
  52. Four dead, 11 hurt in Chile bomb blast
  53. Car bomb in Chile damages 2 U.S. banks, luxury hotel
  54. Martires del Terrorismo/Despierta Chile
  55. Car bomb in Chile damages 2 U.S. banks, luxury hotel
  56. Historia de la Revolución Militar Chilena 1973 - 1990, Hermógenes Pérez de Arce, Editorial El Roble
  57. Cronología del terrorismo socialista
  58. Historia de la Revolución Militar Chilena 1973 - 1990, Hermógenes Pérez de Arce, Editorial El Roble
  59. Police, protesters battle in Chile; 2 dead, 12 hurt
  60. Bombazo e histeria en pleno Paseo Ahumada
  61. "According to investigations carried out by the intelligence services of other countries, all this materiel was smuggled into Chile over the northern border. These arms came from Nicaragua, where they had arrived from Libya, and the shipment was consigned to the Sandinist Revolutionary Army, to be delivered to the so-called "Chilean resistance." Daily Report: Latin America (Volume 86, Issues 11-21), p. 45, Foreign Broadcast Information Service, 1986
  62. Historia de la Revolución Militar Chilena 1973 - 1990, Hermógenes Pérez de Arce, Editorial El Roble
  63. Chile Terrorism
  64. Reordando
  65. Recordando
  66. Pinochet warns terrorists after two-train crash kills 58
  67. "Informe de la Comisión Nacional de verdad y Reconciliación" Tomo 2 pp. 686
  68. Recordando
  69. Recordando
  70. Terrorist Group Profiles, p. 98, DIANE Publishing, 1989
  71. Recordando
  72. Recordando
  73. Recordando
  74. Recordando
  75. Recordando
  76. Reordando
  77. Recordando
  78. Reordando
  79. Reordando
  80. Reordando
  81. "El descubrimiento posterior de una cantidad apreciable de armas introducidas por mar, desde Cuba, a través de una desconocida playa del Norte Chico, llamada Carrizal Bajo, en la que el FPMR estuvo claramente involucrado, terminó por afianzar el distanciamiento con el PC, que justificó lo hecho." Más acá de los Sueños, Más allá de lo Posible: La concertación en Chile, Volume 1, Carlos Bascuñán Edwards, p. 80, Lom Ediciones, 2009
  82. Las Ardientes Cenizas del Olvido: Vía Chilena de Reconciliación Política 1932-1994, Brian Loveman, Elizabeth Lira, p. 472, Lom Ediciones, 2000
  83. Bomb blasts wall at U.S. Embassy compound in Chile
  84. Reordando
  85. La Verdad Olvidada del Terrorismo en Chile, 1968-1996, Arturo Castillo Vicencio, p. 137, Editorial Maye Ltda, 2007
  88. La Verdad Olvidada del Terrorismo en Chile, 1968-1996, Arturo Castillo Vicencio, p. 139, Editorial Maye Ltda, 2007
  90. "According to the Vicaría de la Solidaridad, during 1987 there were 51 deaths in violent situations. Of these, seven victims were security personnel and five were civilians who died in bomb explosions ... The remaining 38 were killed by agents of the military and security forces." Chile: Human Rights and the Plebiscite, Stephen A. Rickard, Cynthia G. Brown, Alfred C. Stepan, p. 65, Human Rights Watch, 1988
  91. "1988 ENERO 20 Valparaíso: explota bomba en Capredena. Alrededor de las 15 horas una poderosa bomba hace explosión en la Caja de Previsión de la Defensa Nacional de Valparaíso causando la muerte de Berta Prado de 64 años, y dejando a una 20 personas heridas, entre ellas un menor de un año y medio." Análisis: revista patrocinada por la Academia de Humanismo Cristiano (Issues 246-258), p. 34, Sociedad Periodística Emisión Limitada, 1988
  92. Muere un carabinero en atentado terrorista en Chile
  93. "In 1988, through March, the Vicaría registered nine deaths, including that of carabinero major for which a faction of the Revolutionary Left Movement, MIR, took credit. According to press reports, five other carabineros were killed by late May." Chile: Human Rights and the Plebiscite, Stephen A. Rickard, Cynthia G. Brown, Alfred C. Stepan, p. 65, Human Rights Watch, 1988
  94. Chicago Tribune, August 12, 1990
  95. Así llega a cuadruplicarse a fines del mismo año, cuando en el mes de septiembre detonaron 53 bombas, resultando de ello 83 víctimas entre muertos y heridos. Estudios Públicos, (Issues 41-42), p. 477, El Centro, 1991
  96. Miami Herald, March 5, 1991
  97. Unos 31 heridos y 234 detenidos en aniversario del golpe militar en Chile
  98. Tres jóvenes muertos en Chile en protestas antipinochetistas
  99. MIR in Chile: ‘Expropriation is a people’s right’
  100. Armed attackers hijack, burn 29 logging trucks in southern Chile. Santiago Times (28 August 2017).
  101. More churches burned as Pope tours Chile. Santiago Times (January 17, 2018).
  102. Gobierno invocará Ley Antiterrorista por quema de camiones en Collipulli (es). Cooperativa (April 6, 2019).
  103. La nueva quema de maquinaria registrada en la Región de La Araucanía (es). Cooperativa (March 7, 2019).
  104. [VIDEO Confirman nuevo ataque incendiario en La Araucanía] (es). T13 (April 16, 2018).
  105. Nuevo ataque incendiario a un camión en la región del Biobío (es). T13 (May 24, 2019).
  106. Directora del INDH: "Carabineros requiere una reforma profunda que democratice el sistema policial" (es). Biobío Chile (November 22, 2018).
  107. Caso Catrillanca: Corte de Temuco rechaza apelación del INDH para dejar en prisión preventiva a los últimos formalizados (es). El Mostrador (Febrary 4 2019).
  108. La zona roja de Temucuicui (es). La Tercera (November 25, 2018).
  109. Comunero mapuche fue detenido como sospechoso de homicidio frustrado (es). Cooperativa (June 30, 2019).
  110. Cronología del caso Luchsinger-MacKay: Desde el ataque a la absolución (es). Emol.com (October 25, 2017).
  111. A 6 años de la muerte del matrimonio Luchsinger Mackay: continúan prófugos 2 de los 4 condenados (es). Biobío Chile (3 January 2019).