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People’s Revolutionary Army (Argentina)

Ejército Revolucionario del Pueblo - ERP

Last modified: 2011-02-12 by francisco gregoric
Keywords: ejército revolucionario del pueblo | erp | e.r.p. | partido revolucionario de los trabajadores | prt | p.r.t. | people’s revolutionary army | workers’ revolutionary party | star: 5 points (red) |
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Important editor note: It must be noted that all the opinions are of the authors and not of FOTW. Our site is non-political and concentrates only on vexillological issues.


[ERP flag]
image by Carlos Sánchez, 23 Oct 2007
See also:

Presentation of the ERP

The Ejercito Revolucionario del Pueblo (ERP) [People’s Revolutionary Army] was one of the two biggest Marxist guerrilla organizations acting in Argentina in the 1970s.

It was formed as the military wing of the Partido Revolucionario de los Trabajadores (PRT) in the V Congress of that party, made in 1970 during the times of the de facto military government of General Juan Carlos Onganía.

The main goal of this guerrilla group was to establish a communist government and State in Argentina.

It originally started as a Trotskyist group affiliated to the 4th International (Trotskyist). However it also has influences of several communist wings like Maoists. Its main model was the movement of Fidel Castro in Cuba and the group defined itself as Guevarist for Ernesto "Che" Guevara. The group officially left Trotskyism in 1973.

The PRT initially started its armed actions in 1968 but the ERP would not officially be founded and named until 1970.

The ERP preformed several urban guerrilla armed actions, first against the de facto dictatorships of Generals Onganía, Levingston and Lanusse in early 1970s.

However the group did not stop its violent actions when Democracy was restored in Argentina in 1973. Even though the de facto government ended, the ERP continued its campaign of attacks, kidnappings, killings, bombings, attacks to military garrisons and propaganda.
Carlos Sánchez, 23 Oct 2007

The ERP joined with the Chilean Movimiento de Izquierda Revolucionaria (MIR), the Tupamaros of Uruguay, and the National Liberation Army of Bolivia to form the Junta Coordinadora Revolucionaria (JCR) in August 1973.
Esteban Rivera, 17 Mar 2007

In 1975 the group tried to establish a rural front in some areas of the Province of Tucumán. The constitutional government of María Estela Martínez de Perón (General Perón’s widow) ordered the military to attack the ERP in Tucumán. This action was known as "Independence Operative" by the government. The military attacked the ERP really hard with some excesses under the instructions of the President of "to neutralize and/or to annihilate the actions of the subversives". This action marked the beginning of the end for the power of the ERP.

In December 1975 the group tried to occupy a military garrison in Monte Chingolo near the City of Buenos Aires in order to steal weapons and explosives. However an Army Intelligence agent disguised as a group member advised the government before the action was made, and the group was ambushed by the military. The ERP had several members killed in Monte Chingolo. This moment marked the end of the ERP as a military capable organization. After that, just counted attacks or bombings could be preformed by the group.

When the military deposed the constitutional government in the coup of March 24, 1976 the ERP was already fatally wounded. A hard repression was preformed by the de facto dictatorship government to the ERP remains. Several members of the group were killed. Its leader Mario Roberto Santucho was killed while planning to leave the country in 1976, and the group was almost extinct by late 1977.

Some of the members that left the country went to Nicaragua where they became members of the Sandinism (like Enrique Gorriarán Merlo the last leader of the ERP after Santucho’s death).
Carlos Sánchez, 23 Oct 2007


Flag

In the V Congress of the PRT of 1970 it was decided that a "people’s revolutionary army" would be founded and that it would have its own flag.

The flag of the ERP was defined as the flag of the Andes Army with the red star of Socialism at center instead of the coat of arms of the original flag, because the group thought of itself as the continuation of General San Martín struggle (according their own point of view).

The red star usually had the acronym of the group ERP inside. Other times the acronym appeared outside or both inside and outside.

Several variants of the flag were used in different places, being the horizontal stripes flag the most common one. Vertical stripes flags were used sometimes also.

Apparently the ERP flag was first raised and seen in a police station taken by the group in the City of Rosario in September 1970. Soon after that the flag appeared again in a big union strike made in Córdoba in March 1971 known as the "viborazo". The flag was used and raised every time a public building was taken by the group, as a propaganda tool. When the group tried to establish a "rural front" in the province of Tucumán in 1975 they took two ERP flags with them.

The flag also appeared as a drawing in stickers and documents of the group as can be seen in the letters sent by Argentine Army Major Argentino del Valle Larrabure to his family while he was kidnapped by the ERP (He was later killed by the group).

After the end of the ERP and the return of Democracy in 1983, the ERP flag has been re-used by some far left very small political groups. They usually just change the acronym in the flag or add something to it.

In meetings of the PRT the ERP flag is still raised and shown, and recently in 2006 when Enrique Gorriarán Merlo died, the ERP flag appeared over his coffin.
Carlos Sánchez, 23 Oct 2007



Vertical stripes flag variant

[ERP flag variant]
image by Carlos Sánchez, 23 Oct 2007

Vertical stripes flags were used sometimes also.
Carlos Sánchez, 23 Oct 2007

Vertical stripes flag with text

[ERP flag variant]
image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 13 Sep 2007

Other times the acronym appeared outside
Carlos Sánchez, 23 Oct 2007


Workers’ Revolutionary Party

Partido Revolucionario de los Trabajadores - PRT

[PRT flag]
image by Carlos Sánchez, 23 Oct 2007

The Partido Revolucionario de los Trabajadores (PRT) [Workers’ Revolutionary Party] was the political wing party of the ERP. It was originally founded in 1965 as a Trotskyist party member of the 4th International (Trotskyist) during the times of the constitutional president Dr. Arturo Umberto Illia.

The party made its first armed attacks in 1968 during the de facto government of General Juan Carlos Onganía (he had deposed Illia in 1966). In 1970 during its V Congress the party founded the ERP.

However the party continued to exist as the political wing of the organization, performing political activities.

Even though the party was originally Trotskyist, it also claimed back other communist wings like Guevarism, Maoism, pro-Ho Chi Minh, etc. But the PRT usually was critic of the former U.S.S.R. In 1973 both the PRT and the ERP left the 4th International and Trotskyism.

Although the ERP was defeated by 1977, the PRT continued to exist until today as a very small political party.

Both the political party wing (PRT) and the armed wing (ERP) have had several splits across the time.
Carlos Sánchez, 23 Oct 2007


About the party’s flag

The flag of the PRT is a red flag that has a yellow star in the canton with the acronym of the group bellow. It looks something similar to the flags of People’s Republic of China or Vietnam.
Carlos Sánchez, 23 Oct 2007


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Important editor note: It must be noted that all the opinions are of the authors and not of FOTW. Our site is non-political and concentrates only on vexillological issues.


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