Shifting Seas of Global Social Term Paper

Pages: 8 (3609 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Terrorism


Strategically, the Wells Fargo, or "Aguilla Blanca" as they called it, incident created two extreme problems for both the American officials and the Machetero base. Previously, the Macheteros were responsible or struggles against the armed forces of the U.S., whom they deemed an occupying force; after the incident, they were responsible for the death of two American civilians (the truck drivers), and made public throughout the rest of the continental U.S. That publicity proved the second problem, and made its weight known within the FBI. No longer were the Macheteros creating terror in the military stage, they had transferred their criminal state to the public sector, instilling fear in the everyday lives of Americans as a means of coercion, acquiring new funds from the robbery, and gaining new publicity with the Puerto Ricans in America. The Puerto Rican base represented by Serrano was reminded of the criminal group from the island, who, at the scene of the crime, through some of the stolen money into the air from high buildings, in a pseudo-Robin Hood vesture of giving to the poor Puerto Ricans in America. While they kept the rest of the money to funnel, most likely to Cuba for the purpose of acquiring more weaponry to defend their cause and spread terrorism, the public distribution was a critical recruitment tactic for creating both sympathizers and new recruits. The social demography of the Puerto Ricans in America opened up a new line of disenfranchised youth who, lured by the false sense of nobility in the psychology of the cause, could grow the ranks, learn the guerilla tactics of urban warfare on the streets of New York, and be made to comply with the Machetero regime.

By creating that false sense of gallantry, the Macheteros fell within Coates' definition of instilling panic, disrupting business, and garnering attention -- even positive attention in some circles -- from the community.

By choosing a target location outside of the military holdouts where they had previously focused their attention, they gained new publicity, putting the media to work for them, spreading the word throughout the Puerto Rican communities clustered in that area.

Term Paper on Shifting Seas of Global Social Assignment

Having already made clear that the social climate at the onset of the group's origination is critical to the establishment, future, and reputation of the terrorist group, the political atmosphere when the Tupamaros, an incredibly violent foreign extremist group, is necessary to understand their position in the world as highly feared terrorists. Like the Macheteros, the Tupamaros developed in the 1960s and 1970s, when the spirit of revolution pervaded Latin and Central America and, combined with the complex ideology of Cold War politics, created a tenuous political situation upon which violent dissidents fed. Also known as the National Liberation Army, the Tupamaros began as urban guerrilla organization in Uruguay named for the Inca revolutionary Tupac Amaru II. Like the Macheteros, their financial lucidity was limited, driving them to steal from banks, gun clubs, and other business to carry out their elected ends. Yet, also like their Puerto Rican successor, the Tupamaros were fueled by the revolutionary ideology of independence, a patriotism that, when taken to the extreme, makes modern-day martyrs out of Palestinian boys and then meant the distribution of stolen food and money among the poor in Uruguay's Montevideo.

While in Puerto Rico, the Macheteros were struggling to find sustenance in a largely poor economy, the Uruguan sociopolitical environment was one of affluence and stability. There was a growing middle class, and the state enjoyed more wide-spread economic stability than its neighbors. As a result of the largely peaceable nation, the Army and Police were kept small; in 1968, there were only 12,000 men in the armed forces to stand against and for a nation of 3 million.

Like the Cold War affected Puerto Rican politics and influenced the philosophy of political divergence that would serve as fodder to terrorist regimes, the Korean war brought a slump in the economy to Uruguay that fostered an unhappy populace and ripe environment for urban guerilla warfare.

The Machetero movement mobilized in much the same fashion as the Uruguan counterpart did; both were urban and struggling for social change and revolutionary politics divergent from the Western post-colonial standards. The name of the group is important; unlike the machete men, which instills the requisite fear, the name Tupac Amaru reminded the disenfranchised people of Uruguay of their former powerful leader, the last member of the Inca royal family, who was destroyed and killed by the Spanish colonizers. But unlike the Macheteros, whose attacks largely struck the American "invaders," the law-school student run Tupamaro movement was immediately violent, focused on cities, and deliberately guerilla-oriented. They drew young, radical middle class people, particularly students and white-collar workers, into their cellular structure "firing groups." The firing group captain was the only one with contact to another group for explicit security reasons, instilling fear into not only the citizens of Montevideo, but also into the members of the cells, whose position inherently lacked the trust of their affiliates.

The violence was not directed upon military alone, unlike the Macheteros. The Tupamaros robbed private citizens of their money, stole guns, and ran havoc throughout the city. Their goal was to make the government seem powerless, according to their propaganda, which, after their actions escalated to political killings, kidnappings, and assignations, they clearly had. They deprived the citizens of peace, and the police force was unable to prevent the rampant captures of those kidnapped in what they Tupamaros called, "Peoples' Prisons." While they spread the news that their motive was pure, and that they were only taking away the corrupt people, the worsening state, national unrest, and extreme violence prompted a state of emergency that lasted four years, until 1972.

Nevertheless, history reports two sides of the story. While the United States government and that of all organized societies lists them as a terrorist regime, many Uruguans took part in the student revolutions that followed, and one bank even reported that its striking employees encouraged the kidnapping of one leading banker.

The government, still under attack, refused to let left-wing newspapers print, and even refused to allow the media to mention the name of the group on the air. Training and recruitment easily continued, and the mass-appeal of the Tupamaros throughout the young intelligentsia perpetuated the ability of the group to motivate violence against the targeted audience; in this case, the ruling elite.

While the Macheteros exist within small numbers, the Tupamaros were so appealing and large a force that in 1972, the new president of Uruguay suspended all civil liberties and declared an Internal War. The asymmetric warfare was brutal, but after five months, the Tupamaros ceased to be a real threat to the state of Uruguay. While the Macheteros continue in strength and fear mongering in the United States, fighting the Tupamaros in their own manner -- gory urban guerilla warfare- proved the best way to expunge them. Perpetrators of violent crimes and extreme terrorists, the lessons learned from their history lend an interesting approach to the modern dilemma of the Macheteros. While the only effective means Uruguay found to get rid of the terrorists mirrors the current American military experience in Iraq, how does it provide a lesson plan for approaching the paralleled chivalry falsely displayed by the Macheteros in the United States?

The social conditions of each situation are incomparably different. Unlike the Tupamaros in Uruguay, the Puerto Rican demographic in the continental United States and in the Commonwealth statistically appears to enjoy its relation to the American government. While the manner of that relationship is undecided amongst the internal group, there exist no deciding "rational factors" that could provide a psychological state of mass revolt. However, the Robin Hood position that appealed to the students of the Tupamaros is politically romantic, particularly in a day and age when the Puerto Rican population in the current New York mayoral election complains that their schools, housing, and services are not to the same standards as the rest of the city. The first civil target in the continental U.S. used by the Macheteros was on the front door to Manhattan, a symbolic foray into the world of continued extremism. The key to combating this kind of terrorism exists in the mutli-faceted paradigm of information. While it is key for the government and law enforcement to be made astutely aware of the socio-political underpinnings of the terrorist movement in addition to its violent capabilities, it also needs to carefully monitor the dissemination of public information.

At odds with the very foundation of America, the First Amendment, the means by which the media presents a picture that glorifies the Machetero cause for the targeted demographic, and the means by which they recognize, and understand, and are able… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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APA Style

Shifting Seas of Global Social.  (2005, October 28).  Retrieved August 4, 2020, from

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"Shifting Seas of Global Social."  28 October 2005.  Web.  4 August 2020. <>.

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"Shifting Seas of Global Social."  October 28, 2005.  Accessed August 4, 2020.