December 30, 1980: Leftist terrorists attack banks in Chile

On December 30, 1980 MIR terrorists attacked three banks in Santiago, Chile killing two police officers and a bank security guard.

SANTIAGO, CHILE – If you are a Marxist you detest the capitalist financial system: that I get. But why kill a poor security guard in the process.

Hands up if you like banks. (light music while I wait for a response). What? No one likes banks? Why in heaven’s name not?

Could it be the service charges? The lousy branch hours? The 0.001% you earn on your savings account? The obscene profits they earn (for instance, Canadian banks reported huge increases in their bottom line back in August)? All of the above?

Nope, banks have a hard time convincing us that they are on OUR side, no matter how upbeat their ads are (an example from Scotiabank: “You are richer than you think!” – really?? Tell my mortgage officer that please!).

And if you are a Marxist you REALLY hate banks which, after all, are a capitalist tool to keep the worker downtrodden, right? On occasion, you attack banks out of that hatred.

On this day in 1980

Up to 20 members of the Movimiento de Izquierda Revolucionaria (MIR – the Revolutionary Left Movement) attacked three banks simultaneously in the Chilean capital, Santiago, killing two police officers and a bank security guard. Two policemen were also wounded.

The MIR targeted banks in large part to finance its activities in aid of the ‘working class‘. It became particularly busy after the Chilean coup of 1973 in which the military overthrew the Allende government. General Augusto Pinochet took over, providing the MIR with ample opportunity to act.

No compromise with the bourgeoisie will be permitted: only the working class and the people will rule post-Pinochet Chile.

MIR slogan

According to one MIR commander between 1,500-2,000 members were killed or forcefully disappeared under the Pinochet regime. Upon Chile’s return to democracy in 1990 it was resurrected and became part of a political coalition called Junto Podemos Mas (Spanish for ‘Together we can do more for Chile‘). I wonder if they have a bank account?

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By Phil Gurski

Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd. Phil is a 32-year veteran of CSE and CSIS and the author of six books on terrorism.

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