Manuel Rodríguez Patriotic Front

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Manuel Rodríguez Patriotic Front
Frente Patriótico Manuel Rodríguez
Leader(s)Sergio Apablaza[1]
Raúl Pellegrin  Executed
Dates of operation1983–1997, (as an armed organization)
Active region(s)Chile
IdeologyMarxism–Leninism, leftist nationalism
Notable attacksOperation 20th century (1986 Augusto Pinochet assassination attempt), Operation Prince, Assassination of Jaime Guzmán, kidnapping of Cristián Edwards, Operation Fly of Justice
Size1.500 - 4.000 militants, (1986)

The Manuel Rodríguez Patriotic Front (Spanish: Frente Patriótico Manuel Rodríguez) (FPMR), also known as El Frente Patriótico, or simply El Frente, was a Marxist-Leninist paramilitary organization in Chile, founded in 1983.

At its beginnings, it was the Communist Party of Chile's armed wing, formed in order to violently overthrow Augusto Pinochet. It was considered a terrorist organization by the Department of State of the United States and the United Kingdom Secret Intelligence Service—two countries whose governments supported the military dictatorship of General Pinochet.

At its height, the FPMR was estimated to be made up of 1,000 to 1,500 members.[2]


On September 7, 1986, after months of planning, the FPMR attacked President Augusto Pinochet's car in an assassination attempt. Five of Pinochet's bodyguards were killed and eleven wounded. Pinochet, however, only suffered minor injuries. He was riding the car with his then 10-year-old grandson who survived unharmed.[3] Also in 1986, Chilean security forces caught the FPMR smuggling an 80-ton shipment of weapons in Carrizal Bajo, including C-4 plastic explosives, RPG-7 and M72 LAW rocket launchers as well as more than three thousand M-16 rifles.[4]

The failure of Pinochet's attempted assassination led to an internal crisis in the FPMR, leading to splits and to the complete autonomy of the group towards the PCCh.[5]

On 8 April 1986, FPMR guerrillas kidnapped and held the "carabinero corporal" Germán Obando captive for 48 hours. After a nationwide coverage of the incident press reported mass condemnation as including political groups normally sympathetic to the cause of the FPMR.[6][not in citation given]

On 13 April 1987, the FPMR simultaneously assaulted the offices of Associated Press (AP) and eight radio stations in Santiago, killing an off-duty security guard.[7]

In the period 1988–1994, the FPMR conducted 15 attacks against LDS Chapels and temples.[8]

On 5 November 1990, FPMR guerrillas detonated a bomb inside the restaurant Max und Moritz in a seaside resort of Viña del Mar, wounding three sailors from the United States aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln. Three British tourists and two waitresses were also injured in the attack.[9]

On 1 April 1991, Senator Jaime Guzmán was shot at the exit of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile where he was a professor of Constitutional Law. He was driven to a nearby hospital by his driver but died 3 hours later from several bullet wounds. His assassination was executed by FPMR members Ricardo Palma Salamanca and Raúl Escobar Poblete, however the operation is believed to be planned by the leaders of the movement Galvarino Apablaza, Mauricio Hernández Norambuena and Juan Gutiérrez Fischmann, who had been planning the murder of Guzman since the 80s.

In 1993 was reported that, FPMR guerrillas bombed two McDonald's restaurants and attempted to bomb a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant.[10]

Transition to democracy[edit]

After the restoration of democratic rule in Chile in 1990, main FPMR targets included LDS Chapels and temples, the kidnapping of Cristian Edwards, son of the owner of the nation's most prominent newspaper, El Mercurio, and US businesses in Chile such as McDonald's and Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant franchises.[11]

In 2005 FPMR member Patricio Ortiz received political asylum in Switzerland. He was sentenced in Chile to ten years of prison for the assassination of a police officer in 1991, during the beginning of the transition to democracy. Ortiz escaped from a Chilean prison in 1996, and reached Switzerland the following year. Following an extradition request by Chile, he was detained by Swiss authorities, who later refused to extradite him as his physical integrity could not be assured (i.e. possibility of torture: extraditing him would have violated article 3 of the European Convention of Human Rights[12]). Swiss authorities then freed him and granted him asylum.[13] In 2007 the Socialist President Michelle Bachelet, who had been herself tortured by the army, criticized the political asylum given to Ortiz,[14] to indignation of the Chilean Left.[15]

Extradition proceedings[edit]

On 13 September 2011, judge Mario Carroza from Santiago's Court of Appeals, requested the Chilean Supreme Court the extradition from Belgium of former FPMR guerrilla Miguel Ángel Peña, accused of UDI's Senator Jaime Guzmán's murder that took place at April 1, 1991 .[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "CHILE'S MOST WANTED GUERRILLA SEEKS POLITICAL ASYLUM" (PDF). The Santiago Times. 2 December 2004. Retrieved 2009-03-26.
  2. ^ "1992 Global Terrorism: Appendix B (Info on Terrorist Groups)". Retrieved 25 February 2015.
  3. ^ Serrill, Michael S. (22 September 1986). "Chile Pinochet's New State of Siege". Retrieved 25 February 2015.
  4. ^ Pinochet S.A.: la base de la fortuna, By Ozren Agnic Krstulovic, Page 147, RIL Editores, 2006
  5. ^ "Supporters Cheer Pinochet at Rally", By William D. Montalbano, The Los Angeles Times, September 10, 1986
  6. ^ "Vuelve y juega". Semana. 30 March 2003. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
  7. ^ Significant Incidents of Political Violence Against Americans 1987, By Andrew Corsun, Page 10, DIANE Publishing, 1988
  8. ^ Historical Dictionary of Terrorism, By Sean Anderson & Stephen Sloan, Page 416, Scarecrow Press, 2009
  9. ^ "3 U.S. Sailors Injured in a Bombing in Chile". The New York Times. 5 November 1990.
  10. ^ Encyclopedia of Terrorism, By Harvey W. Kushner, Page 220, Sage Publications, 2003
  11. ^ "Manuel Rodriguez Patriotic Front (FPMR)". Retrieved 25 February 2015.
  12. ^ Patricio Ortiz sera admis à titre provisoire, Confédération suisse, 3 September 1998 (in French)
  13. ^ Patricio Ortiz reiteró que Suiza le otorgó el estatus de refugiado político[permanent dead link], Radio Cooperativa, 27 July 2005 (in Spanish)
  14. ^ "[Audio] Bachelet afirmó que el refugio en Suiza a Patricio Ortiz "es difícil de explicit" (Bachelet says Swiss asylum for Patricio Ortiz "is difficult to explain")". 1 June 2007.(in Spanish)
  15. ^ Negrón, Patricio (12 June 2007). "Bachelet y el asilo político (Bachelet and political asylum)". Spanish)
  16. ^ "Juez chileno pide extradición a Bélgica de procesado por muerte senador". ABC. Retrieved 25 February 2015.

  1. Manuel Rodriguez Patriotic Front website
  2. MIPT Terrorism Knowledge Base
  3. website about Mauricio Hernández Norambuena, líder del MRPF
  4. Manuel Rodriguez Patriotic Front terrorist actions in Chile and list of victims