What Revolutionary Guerillas Still Exist In Latin America?

After the Death Of Abimael Guzmán, Leader Of the Defunct Shining Path Guerrilla, We Decided To Review the Armed Groups That Still Exist In Latin America.

National indigenous congress convened by the EZLN

These are the guerrillas, or revolutionary groups, that are still in force in Latin America and that continue their own struggle in search of power. Photo: Wikimedia-Mariana Osornio

LatinAmerican Post | Christopher Ramírez Hernández

Listen to this article

Leer en español: ¿Cuáles son los grupos revolucionarios que aún existen en Latinoamérica?

On September 11, we got the news of the death of Manuel Rubén Abimael Guzmán Reinoso, simply known as Abimael Guzmán, 'supreme leader' of the extinct Peruvian guerrilla Shining Path. Guzmán, 86, died in the maximum-security detention center of the Callao Naval Base, where he was serving a life sentence.

Known in the Peruvian armed conflict as "Comrade Gonzalo", Guzmán reached the maximum sentence in 1992, after being accused of participating in the death and disappearance of people in Peru, directly or indirectly between the years 1980 to 2000, according to information from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (CVR) of that country, presented during its final report in 2003. Furthermore, according to the CVR, of those victims, more than 30,000 were fatal.

With Maoist bases, the Shining Path sought to establish in Peru a communist regime similar to that unleashed by the leader of the Chinese Revolution, Mao Tse-Tung, in his country, guided by Marxist-Leninist ideology. In the 90s, after the capture of Abimael, the Shining Path collapsed. However, today there are still remnants of the terrorist group, and they even continue to operate with the ability to attack. Just this year, there was an attack attributed to these small groups that left 17 dead .

For this reason, LatinAmerican Post decided to make a report on the guerrillas, or revolutionary groups, that are still in force in Latin America and that continue their own struggle in search of power based on terrorism and the communist ideology of China, Cuba and the extinct Soviet Union.


The National Liberation Army (ELN) was born in 1964 in Colombia, and is considered, after the disarmament of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), in 2016, as the oldest guerrilla, not only in that country, but in all America.

According to the Peace and Reconciliation Foundation (PARES), an organization focused on rebuilding the history of the armed conflict in Colombia, by 2019 the ELN had at least 3,000 militants, with a presence in 112 municipalities in the six regions from the country.

With a Marxist-Leninist ideology, coming from the Cuban Revolution, in addition to a clear influence of the so-called Liberation Theory, this guerrilla, today led by alias Gabino, has been seeking the establishment of a socialist government in Colombia for 55 years.


In the midst of the anti-imperialist struggle against the United States, Puerto Rico also has its own guerrilla group, known as the Popular Boricua-Macheteros Army (EPB), which, as most of these revolutionary groups have done throughout history , seeks the establishment of a socialist government on the island, not without first establishing a total and absolute independence from the North American country.

Considered a stronghold of the Armed Forces of National Liberation (FALN), a group on the fringes of the law branded as "the only organization that we can never end", by the former director of the FBI, William Webster, in 1987, the EPB reached its maximum point of militants in 1999, with more than 5,700 members, with a considerable reduction on 2005, when The Economist announced that the combatants of this guerilla numbered a little more than 1,100 militants.


Mexico also featured the leading role of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN). Born in 1993, this leftist revolutionary group is led by Rafael Sebastián Guillén Vicente, better known as 'Subcomandante Marcos'.

You may also be interested in: How Is the Jihad Going? These Are the Remaining Islamist Groups

Although since 2006 they are considered as “a non-military revolutionary group”, there are still some armed strongholds, especially in the state of Chiapas, in southern Mexico. In a speech given by 'Subcomandante Marcos' in 1993, known as the Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, he assured that the EZLN's ideals are based on the “struggle for work, land, shelter, food, health, education, independence. , freedom, democracy, justice and peace ”, and assured that“ achieving the fulfillment of these basic demands of our people ”would be enough to form“ a free and democratic government of our country ”.


The Paraguayan People's Army (EPP) is one of the most recent guerrillas in the region, created under a Marxist-Leninist ideology in 2008. According to official sources, although 13 years ago this illegal group was formed in Paraguay, its beginnings date back to 1992, when an illegal armed wing of the left-wing Patria Libre party was formed.

Currently, they have a presence in the departments of Concepción and San Pedro, on the border with Brazil.

Segunda Marquetalia

Lastly, we must mention what could be considered the last guerrilla created in Latin America, born from the bosom of what was once the oldest in the region (the FARC-EP). Known as the Segunda Marquetalia (Marquetalia is a Colombian municipality in which the former FARC were born in the 60s), it is made up of ex-combatants of the extinct guerrilla such as alias Iván Márquez, 'El Paisa', 'Romaña' and the deceased 'Jesús Santrich '.

As the Ideas for Peace Foundation (FIP) recalls, this group was formed by dissidents from the FARC, after an alleged “betrayal of the (Colombian) State to the Peace Accords,” signed in 2016 in Havana, Cuba. between the Government of that country and the guerrillas.