Marxists claim credit for bombs in Mexico City

August 16, 1991|By John M. McClintock | John M. McClintock,Mexico City Bureau of The Sun

MEXICO CITY -- Three Marxist bomb attacks yesterday and another last Sunday are raising fears of a resurgence of the urban guerrilla movements that plagued Mexico in the 1970s.

Three dynamite time bombs exploded shortly after 5 a.m. yesterday, slightly damaging the Mexican headquarters of IBM, a McDonald's and a Sanborns department store restaurant, said Hector Pina, a spokesman for the Mexico City attorney general's office.

A Citibank building was bombed Sunday night.

There were no injuries, and damage was limited to broken windows and damaged furniture, Mr. Pina said.

In all four cases, a Marxist revolutionary coalition -- a longtime advocate of "prolonged war" -- claimed responsibility.

The coalition is the United People's Clandestine Revolutionary Workers Party and the Party of the Poor, a group that was formed in 1980 but has roots in the armed struggles that swept Latin America in the 1960s.

Mr. Pina refused to speculate why mostly U.S. firms were singled out, but it is believed that the coalition hopes the attacks will cause the United States to put pressure on Mexico to meet its demands.

The coalition is seeking an investigation into the disappearance of four of its members and the release of 11 people being held in the killing of two newspaper guards last year.

The guards at La Jornada, a left-of-center daily, were apparently shot for refusing to accept a news release from the group. One of the victims was 16 years old.

The shootings set off a police roundup of alleged coalition sympathizers and their family members, all of whom said they were innocent of the killings.

The bombings raise the specter of the mid-1970s, when Communist urban guerrillas in Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey resorted to kidnappings, bombings and assassinations, only to be "disappeared" by a secret death squad within the police and military.

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