The EPR in Mexico

The Popular Revolutionary Army (EPR for its initials in Spanish) is a guerilla that is part of Partido Democrático Popular Revolucionario (PDPR) (Popular Revolutionary Democratic Party). EPR began in 1994 from the fusion of Partido Revolucionario Obrero Clandestino Unión del Pueblo (PROCUP) (Clandestine Revolutionary Workers Party People Union) founded in 1978 and the guerilla group Partido de los Pobres (Party of the Poor).

The ideology of EPR is based on a socialist system and an interest to install communism in Mexico, with special attention on farming communities and native people. They fight to nationalize communication media, the national sovereignty against North American “imperialism” and to ban foreign debt. EPR has stated that its activities are carried out as an “armed self-defense” against authorities.

Its main area of operations is in the states of Guerrero, Oaxaca and Chiapas but since the presidential elections of 2006, it has extended its reach and repercussion on the country’s capital and other regions.

In July 2007, EPR claimed responsibility for the explosions that harmed the pipelines of Petróleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) in Guanajuato and Queretaro. It declared these acts are part of a “national harassment campaign against the interests of the oligarchy and this illegitimate government” (in reference to the Presidency of Felipe Calderón). Through these attacks, EPR pretends to demand the liberation of members of its group that are in jail and/or disappeared. In September 2007 they attacked PEMEX pipelines again with explosions in Veracruz and Tlaxcala. These attacks were also executed to demand the return of their comrades alive, denouncing they are detained in clandestine prisons.

One of the attacks happened in November 20096, when they detonated three bombs before the offices of Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI), the Tribunal Electoral del Poder Judicial de la Federación and a bank in Mexico City. Nobody died in these explosions.

President Felipe Calderón responded to these attacks by deploying 5,000 special soldiers to safeguard the pipelines; however, it will be difficult to protect all 60,000 kilometers of pipeline that exist.

The Centro de Investigación y Seguridad Nacional (Mexican intelligence service) has reported that President of Venezuela Hugo Chavez might be supporting EPR with materials, guns and training.

Artículo Producido por el Equipo Editorial Explorando México.
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Foto: Sitio Oficial