On March 5, 2010, Juan Maria Bordaberry was sentenced to 30 years in prison (the maximum allowed under Uruguayan law) for murder. He was the second former Uruguayan dictator sentenced to a long prison term.
On July 17, 2011, Bordaberry died, aged 83, at his home. He had been suffering from respiratory problems and other illnesses. His remains are buried at Parque Martinelli de Carrasco.
José Mujica, the current president of Uruguay adopts a ruling style closer to center-left administrations of Lula in Brazil and Bachelet in Chile, unlike the harder-left leaders such as the late Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías, former president of Venezuela .
In 2012, José Mujica was lauded for a speech at the United Nations’ Rio+20 global sustainability conference in which he called for a fight against the hyper-consumption that is destroying the environment:
“The cause is the model of civilization that we have created. And the thing we have to re-examine is our way of life.“
Again in 2012, Mujica announced that the presidential palace would be included among the state shelters for the homeless.
In 2013 Mujica’s government pushed the world’s most progressive cannabis legalization bill through the Uruguayan Congress. He says:
“This is not about being free and open. It’s a logical step. We want to take users away from clandestine business.“
Guerilla warfare of Fidel Castro and Ernesto “Che” Guevara inspired the Tupamaros in Uruguay. Other Guerrilla outfits around the world while being inspired by Fidel Castro and Che Guevara, emulated the Tupamaros of Uruguay.
To a certain extent, the Tupamaros of Uruguay became the role model for urban guerrillas in India and in Sri Lanka.
In India the various Naxalite groups that are mostly associated with the Communist Party of India (Maoist), the Kashmiri ultras funded by the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) of Pakistan, and many other worldwide terror outfits have been inspired by the Tupamaros of Uruguay.
In Sri Lanka, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) and the Tamil insurgent outfits such as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), considered the Tupamaros as their role model.
The Naxalites of India
In India, various Communist guerrilla groups, under the generic term “Naxalites”, were influenced by the Uruguayan Tupamaros.
The first Naxal movement led by Kanu Sanyal, an Indian communist politician, originated in the village of Naxalbari in West Bengal in 1967.
On May 18, 1967, Jangal Santhal, president of the Siliguri Kishan Sabha declared his support for the movement initiated by Kanu Sanyal. The members of the Sabha readily consented to adopt armed struggle for redistribution of land to the landless.
Through the activities of underground groups like the Communist Party of India (Maoist), Kanu Sanyal’s Naxalite ideology spread to less developed regions of rural eastern and southern India, such as Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. Today it has the following of displaced tribal people fighting against exploitation of their land by major Indian corporations and corrupt local officials.
During the 1970s, the original Naxal movement got fragmented into various factions due to internal conflicts among their leaders. In 1980, about 30 Naxalite groups were active in India, with a combined membership of 30,000 cadres.
Terrorists of Sri Lanka
In Sri Lanka, two terrorist groups involved in guerilla warfare against the governments were very much influenced by the Cuban revolutionists and the Uruguayan Tupamaros.
The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) of Sri Lanka
The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (People’s Liberation Front) (JVP), a Marxist-Leninist communist political party was led by Rohana Wijeweera (born Patabendi Don Nandasiri Wijeweera).
The JVP involved in two armed insurrections against the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) government in 1971 and against the United National Party (UNP) government in 1987-89.
After 1989, the JVP entered the mainstream of democratic politics. They became popular to a certain extent and participated in the 1994 parliamentary election.
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) of Sri Lanka
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), was a separatist militant organization based in northern Sri Lanka formed in May 1976 by Velupillai Prabhakaran.
The LTTE waged a secessionist nationalist campaign to create an independent and autonomous country for the Tamil people in the north and east of Sri Lanka. Their pursuit to create a mono ethnic Tamil Eelam evolved into the Sri Lankan Civil War (1983-2009).
The LTTE had a well-developed militia and were the first militant group to acquire air power. They carried out many high-profile attacks, including the assassinations of several high-ranking Sri Lankan and Indian politicians. The LTTE was the only militant group to assassinate two world leaders: former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1991, and Sri Lankan President Ranasinghe Premadasa in 1993.
The LTTE movement is currently proscribed as a terrorist organization by 32 countries, including India. However, it had and still has the support amongst many Tamil political parties in Tamil Nadu in India.
Velupillai Prabhakaran, the founder of the LTTE, was killed on May 18, 2009, by the Sri Lankan army.
Eventually, the LTTE militants were defeated by the Sri Lankan Military in 2009.
Though the Tupamaros movement in Uruguay, the JVP and LTTE movements in Sri Lanka were annihilated by outright military action in both countries, they all have set a standard for an intelligent violence unequaled in modern times. Though there is no doubt about the flair, bravery and genius of those insurgents, there lingers doubts about their politics. The German strategist, Von Clausewitz, much admired by Lenin, wrote:
“War is only the violent extension of politics; if the politics are wrong to start with, the war will probably go the same way.”
- The Tupamaros, Terrorists of Uruguay – Prelude (tvaraj.com)
- The Tupamaros, Terrorists of Uruguay – Part 1: The Beginnings (tvaraj.com)
- The Tupamaros, Terrorists of Uruguay – Part 2: The Formative Years (tvaraj.com)
- The Tupamaros, Terrorists of Uruguay – Part 3: Armed propaganda (tvaraj.com)
- The Tupamaros, Terrorists of Uruguay – Part 4: The Kidnappings (tvaraj.com)
- The Tupamaros, Terrorists of Uruguay – Part 5: Assassination of Daniel A. Mitrione (tvaraj.com)
- The Tupamaros, Terrorists of Uruguay – Part 6: Operation El Abuso, the Great Escape (tvaraj.com)
- The Tupamaros, Terrorists of Uruguay – Part 7: The Coup d’état of 1973 (tvaraj.com)
- The Tupamaros, Terrorists of Uruguay – Part 8: The Military Government (1973-85) (tvaraj.com)
- The Tupamaros, Terrorists of Uruguay – Part 9: Restoration of Democracy in Uruguay (tvaraj.com)
- A Short History of Uruguay – Part 1 (tvaraj.com)
- A Short History of Uruguay – Part 2 (tvaraj.com)
- Tupamaros (en.wikipedia.org)
- The Tupamaros: Rise and Fall (marxists.org)
- The Tupamaros – Uruguay’s Marxist Revolutionaries (latinamericanhistory.about.com)
- Guerrilla warfare (en.wikipedia.org)
- Urban guerrilla warfare (en.wikipedia.org)
- Sun Tzu (en.wikipedia.org)
- The Art of War (en.wikipedia.org)
- Mao Zedong (en.wikipedia.org)
- Insurgency in Northeast India (en.wikipedia.org)
- Terrorism in India (en.wikipedia.org)
- Naxalite (en.wikipedia.org)
- Kanu Sanyal (en.wikipedia.org)
- Naxalites – India’s Maoist insurgency (vinay.howtolivewiki.com)
- Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (en.wikipedia.org)
- Rohana Wijeweera (en.wikipedia.org)
- Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (en.wikipedia.org)
- Velupillai Prabhakaran (en.wikipedia.org)
- Taming the Tamil Tigers – From Here in the U.S. (fbi.gov)