Tarata bombing

Coordinates: 12°07′24″S 77°01′41″W / 12.123345°S 77.028193°W / -12.123345; -77.028193
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Tarata bombing
Part of Internal conflict in Peru
Damage caused by the bombing seen from a building in Tarata
LocationTarata St., Miraflores, Lima, Peru
DateJuly 16, 1992; 31 years ago (1992-07-16)
9:15 p.m. (EDT)
Attack type
PerpetratorShining Path

The Tarata bombing, known also as the Miraflores bombing or Lima bombing, was a terrorist attack carried out in Tarata Street, located in Miraflores District of Lima, Peru, on 16 July 1992, by the Shining Path terrorist group. The blast was the deadliest Shining Path bombing during the Internal conflict in Peru[1] and was part of a larger bombing campaign in the city.

The explosions happened next to the important Avenida Larco, in the business area of Miraflores, an upscale district of the city. Two trucks, each packed with 1,000 kg of explosives, exploded on the street at 9:15 pm next to the Banco de Crédito del Perú Bank located in Larco Avenue, killing 25 and wounding 155.[2] The blast destroyed or damaged 183 homes, 400 businesses and 63 parked cars.[3] The bombings were the beginning of a week-long Shining Path strike against the Peruvian government, a strike which caused 40 deaths and shut down much of the capital.[4]

In the wake of the incident, galvanized by public outrage, President Alberto Fujimori intensified his crackdown on Peruvian insurgent groups, culminating in the capture on September of the same year of Shining Path leader Abimael Guzmán, itself leading to the beginning of the end of the insurgency for the group and a decrease in terrorist activities, with fewer attacks happening after the capture of Guzmán.


In 1992, Peru was in the midst of a terrorist insurgency between different groups, the most radical and active of which was Shining Path, a militant offshoot of the Peruvian Communist Party. Earlier that year, a controversial (yet supported at the time) coup d'état led by President Alberto Fujimori on 5 April, in which he dissolved the Congress as part of a broader political crackdown, aggravated the domestic social conflict.[5]

Earlier Shining Path attacks that year included the 15 February murder of María Elena Moyano, a community organizer in the district of Villa El Salvador, who was shot at close range then blown up with dynamite. Also, on 5 June a car bomb exploded beside the Frecuencia Latina television station near midnight, destroying the building and its surroundings and killing journalist Alejandro Pérez.[6] This attack marked a new era in the conflict, as it was the first time that the terrorist group had openly attacked any media entity.

The attack[edit]

The attack took place on Thursday 16 July and targeted the Credit Bank of Peru located on Avenida Larco.[5] During the day, Shining Path forces in Lima conducted attacks against police stations and smaller financial institutions in order to disperse the police and clear the way for the main attack. Near the planned time, there was a wavering in electric power followed by one of the blackouts common in the city at that time.

According to testimony of Shining Path militants interviewed by the Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the twelfth Shining Path detachment in Lima, commanded by "Comrade Daniel" (later identified as Carlos Mora La Madrid in the commission's records), was responsible for conducting the attack.[5]

The original plan was to set off explosives in front of that bank at 9:20 pm, but the establishment did not allow them to park in the place agreed.[5] They therefore decided to leave their vehicle at the next intersection (which was Tarata Street) and allow it to drift forward until it exploded.[5] Once in the street, the driver slowed down and abandoned the truck.[5]

The explosive payload was 400–500 kilograms of ammonium nitrate and fuel oil mixed with dynamite.[5] The buildings most affected by their locations near the center of the blast were El Condado, San Pedro, Tarata, Central Residential and San Carlos. The shock wave extended for 300 meters. The explosion killed 25, wounded 155, and caused more than US$3 million in damage.


Monument located at the site of the explosion.

Response from around the world denounced the Shining Path and expressed support with the Peruvian government and people in overcoming the situation.

According to specialists, it was the first time in the course of the civil war that "traditional" Lima society experienced the conflict.[7] It was the first time that a terrorist act was carried out against a large-scale civilian target and the first direct attack on a city center.

The attack also led to self-examinations within the Shining Path, whose main leaders recognized the act as a "mistake" that should not have happened because it did not advance the group's main objective.[8][9]

This attack was used as a justification for the La Cantuta massacre two days later on 18 July, in which nine students and one teacher at the National University of Education Enrique Guzmán y Valle, innocent civilians, were kidnapped and disappeared during the night by members of the Grupo Colina death squad. All were accused of having perpetrated the Tarata bombing.[citation needed]

Shining Path leader Abimael Guzmán was arrested in September 1992 and sentenced to life imprisonment. In 2014 he and his wife Elena Iparraguirre were tried for having ordered the Tarata bombing.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Cabitza, Mattia (28 February 2012). "Peru's Shining Path rebels: Old enemy, new threat". BBC News. Retrieved 31 December 2016.
  2. ^ Sendero File / August 1992
  3. ^ Economist's View: History of the Car Bomb: "The poor man's air force" Part 2
  4. ^ "40 Killed; Shining Path Guerrillas Shut Down Much of Lima." The New York Times, 26 July 1992.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g El Atentado de Tarata (Spanish)
  6. ^ "Alejandro Pérez - Journalists Killed - Committee to Protect Journalists". Retrieved 31 December 2016.
  7. ^ "Archivo de Prensa IBC » Tarata, a 14 años del terror". www.bcasas.org.pe. Archived from the original on 11 June 2007. Retrieved 17 January 2022.
  8. ^ "Archivo de País Bizarro: El loco más peligroso de América". Retrieved 31 December 2016.
  9. ^ "CARETAS HOME PAGE". Archived from the original on 6 November 2007. Retrieved 31 December 2016.
  10. ^ Collyns, Dan (20 January 2014). "Former Shining Path leader 'Presidente Gonzalo' faces Peru court". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 April 2016.
  • Truth and Reconciliation Commission (2003). Final Report Volume 6. Lima, Peru.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)

12°07′24″S 77°01′41″W / 12.123345°S 77.028193°W / -12.123345; -77.028193