Revolutionary Organization of Armed People

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Revolutionary Organization of Armed People
Organización Revolucionario del Pueblo en Armas
Participant in Guatemalan Civil War
ORPA guerilla.jpg
ORPA guerilla
Active 1979-1996
Leaders Rodrigo Asturias
Area of operations Guatemala
Part of URNG
Allies PGT
U.S.S.R (Until 1991)
Nicaragua (1979-1990)
Opponents Guatemala
U.S.A (Support)
Israel (Support)
Taiwan (Support), Others
Battles and wars Guatemalan Civil War

Revolutionary Organization of the People in Arms (ORPA)(Spanish: Organización Revolucionario del Pueblo en Armas) was one of the four groups of armed resistance during the Guatemalan Civil War.

In the 1970s, a new organization installed itself in the mountains and the forests above the coffee estates. The Revolutionary Organization of Armed People (ORPA) was started by local youth and university intellectuals. Of the various Guatemalan guerrilla groups, ORPA seemed the least violent, partly because it was led by the urbane Rodrigo Asturias, the son of Miguel Ángel Asturias, Guatemala's Nobel Laureate in literature. ORPA was also a group to which, with a few horrifying exceptions, the army did not respond with its trademark village massacres. Why this was so is an interesting question. One possibility is ORPA's decision not to organize villages as publicly declared support bases. Another possible explanation is that planters needed their workers' labor too much for the army to slaughter them en masse.

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