Guerrilla Army of the Poor
|Guerrilla Army of the Poor|
|Ejército Guerrillero de los Pobres
Participant in Guatemalan Civil War
Logo of the Ejército Guerrillero de los Pobres
|Active||19 January 1972 – 15 February 1997|
|Area of operations||Guatemala|
ORPA (and it's supporters)
|Opponents||Guatemala (and it's supporters)|
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (December 2007)|
The Guerrilla Army Of The Poor (EGP – Ejército Guerrillero de los Pobres) was Guatemalan guerrilla movement, one of the four organizations comprising the Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unity (URNG – Unidad Revolucionaria Nacional Guatemalteca) that negotiated and signed the Peace accords in Guatemala with the Government and the Army of Guatemala.
Initially, the guerrilla organization went by the acronym NORC but soon became known as the EGP. On January 19, 1972, the first guerrilla contingents entered the forests of the Ixcán, to the north of Quichė. As a communist organization, it combined a vanguard party structure with paramilitary forces and a Marxist–Leninist ideology.
The EGP sought to organize and, to a certain extent, control elements of the Indigenous towns of Guatemala as an opposition to the dictatorial regimes of the late twentieth century.
Until the peace accords were signed on 29 December 1996, the EGP was the guerrilla organization with the greatest number of militants and territorial extension, although this level of influence was greatly diminished from earlier levels, particularly following the brutal 'pacification' of the countryside under General Efrain Rios Montt. At its peak, the EGP could rely upon a social base of approximately 250,000 people, divided in the following guerrilla fronts:
- "Commander Ernesto Guevara", in the NW zone of the country and the Forest of the Ixcán.
- "Ho Chi Minh" in the Ixil zone of Guatemala.
- "Marco Antonio Yon Sosa" in the North Central region of the country.
- "Augusto César Sandino" in the central zone of Guatemala.
- "13 of November" in the Eastern zone.
- "Luis Turcios Lima" in the South Coast.
- "Otto René Castillo" in the capital of the country and suburban zones.
The Commander-in-Chief was Ricardo Ramirez de León, alias Commander Rolando Morán, who became the first Secretary General of URNG following the peace accords. The EGP were disbanded on 15 February 1997, two months after signing the accords, and were integrated into the URNG, which today exists as a conventional political party.