Movimiento Todos por la Patria

The Movimiento Todos por la Patria (MTP) was an Argentine guerrilla movement active from 1985 to 1989, whose leader was Enrique Gorriarán Merlo. He was responsible for carrying out the 1989 attack on La Tablada Army Regiment.

Background

By the time the group was founded, Merlo had been active in radical activities for years; he fought with the People's Revolutionary Army (ERP) in the 1970s. This organization was responsible for kidnappings and bombings in the 1970s; later went on to collaborate with the Sandinistas to assassinate former Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza Debayle on September 17, 1980, who was living in exile in Paraguay. The group was created in 1985 and ceased activities four years later.

La Tablada Attack

At the time of the attack, far-right rogue army elements known as "carapintadas" or "painted faces" (a reference to their use of facial camouflage), had launched far-right uprisings against the Alfonsín administration, in response to the Trial of the Juntas. The MPT, claiming to be preventing a coup by the said elements, launched an attack on the Third Mechanized Infantry Regiment barracks in La Tablada (Regimiento de Infantería Mecanizada Nº 3, RIM3). They broke into the barracks by ramming a stolen truck into the main gate.

In response, the Argentine Army and Buenos Aires Provincial Police launched a counterattack and the ensuing fight left 39 dead and approximately 60 injured. President Alfonsín condemned the attack on the barracks and later visited the site, accompanied by commandos. The actions of the government forces were not without controversy: white phosphorus was used, contrary to international law, and it was reported that the security forces executed some of the surviving guerrillas.[1]

Aftermath

After six years in exile Merlo was arrested by the Argentine government in Mexico in 1995 and sentenced to life in prison. Pardoned in May 2003 by Eduardo Duhalde, then-president, he quietly returned to civilian life, and died in 2006 of cardiac arrest.

Merlo said after the pardon that he never was a terrorist.

See also

References

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