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Peruvian political flags

Last modified: 2003-08-16 by antonio martins
Keywords: peru | mrta | tupac amaru | firearm: rifle |
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“Tupac Amaru” Revolutionary Movement / Movimiento Revolucionario “Tupac Amaru” (M.R.T.A.)

Tupac Amaru (real name José Condorcanqui) was born in Cuzco in 1741, and after some years declared himself an Inca descendent (which is unsure). He assembled a number of partisans, and started a revolt in Tungasuca on 6 November 1780. The attack on Cuzco was a failure and he was capturated by the spanish army and executed in Cuzco on 18 May 1782. The Quechua people remember today the just cause of Tupac Amaru and a marxist indigenous movement established in 1984 took his name. The militant people were named "emerretistas", and started the armed strugle in 1987 in the Amazonian Forest. I know three flags used by the movement:

  • Vertical white and red with the letters MRTA in black in the center.
  • Horizontal red over white with the letters MRTA in black in the centre of the white stripe
  • Peru National flag with the letters MRTA (in black) on the central band, and above an image (white/black) of the head and half body (since below of the chest) of Tupac Amaru; in the left of this image one arrow with double point; and in the right side an automatic rifle (similar to a Kalashnikov AK47).
Jaume Ollé, 08 Dec 1996

This flag was prominently hung from the windows and railings of the Japanese Embassy in in Lima, taken over by MRTA on 17 December 1996. The flag is a tricolor, the design long associated with revolutionary change and independence. The two outer bands are red, which is the colour traditionally associated with Marxism and socialist revolution.
David Cohen, 11 Mar 1997

A red-white-red triband sounds a lot like the national flag of Peru.
Roy Stilling, 11 March 1997

On the central white band are the letters "MRTA" - the Spanish-language acronym for the group. The head on the flag depicts Tupac Amaru, an Inca leader who symbolises the Peruvian people's struggle against their oppressors. He led an anti-colonialist rebellion against the Spanish in the 1500's, almost succeeding in shaking off Spanish domination of a large part of South America. He was eventually captured, and drawn and quartered in Cuzco's main square. The stylised V below Tupac Amaru is formed by a star and a gun - the gun symbolising Tupac Amaru's belief in armed struggle to acheive their objectives. The V stands for the word Venceremos — Spanish for "We shall win!" — Tupac Amaru's slogan is «Con las masas y las armas, Patria o muerte... ¡venceremos!»
David Cohen, 11 Mar 1997

See also: Tupamaros party (Uruguay)