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Author Topic: Real-world Liberal Crime Squad (the Tupamaros of Uruguay)  (Read 500 times)

Liberal Elitist

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Real-world Liberal Crime Squad (the Tupamaros of Uruguay)
« on: October 22, 2017, 09:31:24 pm »

In the 1960s and early 1970s, there existed a radical left-wing group in Uruguay, the Tupamaros,  that engaged in violence, bank robberies, kidnappings, interrogations of people they captured, propaganda efforts including taking over radio stations, had a cell-based structure with code names with cells from 2 to 6 people, had people from all different walks of life from uneducated peasants to educated professionals, had sleeper agents inside the military and police, and engaged in urban combat in the city of Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay which had most of its population.

The methods of the Tupamaros were virtually identical to those of the Liberal Crime Squad in the game Liberal Crime Squad, and for about a decade they successfully operated and gained more and more influence. The nation of Uruguay went from spending 1% of its annual budget on the military to 26% in order to defeat the Tupamaros, and the country went from being a fairly corrupt but still democratic country to having a military coup in 1973 as a result of what could be termed the "counterrevolutionary" response to the ultimately failed revolution the Tupamaros had spent years working towards.

Originally they had actually started out as a fairly nonviolent group but they did engage in robberies from the beginning in order to raise funds, and soon began doing kidnappings, although they would typically release the people they kidnapped after a few days. A few times they did kill people they had kidnapped, including an FBI agent who the U.S. government had sent to Uruguay to advise its government in how to fight the Tupamaros. At their peak they were very popular, but public opinion ended up turning against them after they became more violent.

The Tupamaros of Uruguay had so many parallels to the Liberal Crime Squad it is amazing. There is a Wikipedia article about them here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tupamaros. However there is a 1973 short book about them which is available as a PDF here: http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/uruguay/Tupamaros.pdf (hosted on a website run by Professor Antonio de la Cova, formerly of the University of Indiana, currently at the University of South Carolina). In that book, which you can read in your web browser as a PDF, which nowadays no longer requires a browser plugin, they sound almost exactly like the Liberal Crime Squad. They turned out rather like playing a game of Liberal Crime Squad where you do pretty well but the government ends up apprehending and imprisoning your leadership and there is nobody left able to lead.

As a footnote, one of the former Tupamaros, years later, after the military dictatorship had ended and there was political amnesty both for those involved in the dictatorship as well as anyone who had engaged in any political violence for the last few decades, José Mujica, was eventually elected President of Uruguay in late 2009, taking office in 2010, and leaving office in 2015 after another politician from the same political party as him (the Broad Front) won the 2014 Presidential elections. They have elections every 5 years for President and Presidents there serve 5-year terms. José Mujica was not as radical at this age and governed as a center-left leader, but successfully pursued progressive policies including legalizing marijuana, and he left the country in very good shape after his 5 years in office and handed it over to someone else in a peaceful transition of power. He had spent 13 years imprisoned, one of 9 Tupamaros leaders who spent 13 years in prison.

There was a 10th prominent leader of the Tupamaros who turned traitor against the other Tupamaros and sold them out to the Uruguayan government and helped bring about their downfall by being an informant from within, Héctor Amodio Pérez, widely denounced as a traitor, someone not respected or liked by anyone in Uruguay, since nobody likes traitors. He fled Uruguay to Spain in 1973 with the assistance of the Uruguayan government after helping them destroy the Tupamaros.

So, Liberal Crime Squad is not that far detached from reality, and what happens in the game really did happen once upon a time in the nation of Uruguay as a true story in an almost identical way. I thought people who enjoy the game might be interested in this. I would note that this connection between the Liberal Crime Squad and Tupamaros is entirely coincidental, and Liberal Crime Squad was not patterned after them at all. This is just a coincidence. Truth is stranger than fiction. The story of the real-world Liberal Crime Squad, the Tupamaros of Uruguay, who operated in a virtually identical fashion to the LCS in the game, is certainly an interesting one.

There is actually a movie about the Tupamaros called "State of Siege", a 1972 French film which received excellent reviews but which the U.S. government at the time harshly condemned. You could consider it "Liberal Crime Squad: The Movie". It is based on a true story, although many elements of the movie are fictionalized, for instance the names of the characters are all fictional and it was not actually filmed in Uruguay and the film is in French rather than the Spanish spoken in Uruguay. "State of Siege" is almost exactly 2 hours long and a 1972 French film, also going by the title "État de Siège", for anyone who wants to find this movie. The exact length of the film is 2 hours, 1 minute, and 34 seconds. To watch it legally, it is available from the Criterion Collection from their own website as well as on various other sites, it can be legally bought on DVD or BluRay or legally rented as a digital movie to watch on YouTube or iTunes or VUDU (and of course it has English subtitles). A friend of mine used to have a VHS tape of it but he lost it. I am NOT telling anyone how to get this movie illegally, of course, since that would go against the forum rules among other reasons.

Anyway, I just think the Tupamaros being so similar to the Liberal Crime Squad is very cool, although the fact that their actions helped lead to a backlash where the formerly peaceful and democratic nation of Uruguay became a military dictatorship for over a decade, from 1973 to 1985, that was awful, and they did commit many horrible crimes and I do not approve of that either, I just find the historical parallels of this group to the game to be amazing, even the detail of squads or cells having a maximum of 6 members, all using code names, is both true in the real Tupamaros as well as the game Liberal Crime Squad. So many details are identical, it is just the most amazing coincidence.
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George_Chickens

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Re: Real-world Liberal Crime Squad (the Tupamaros of Uruguay)
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2017, 06:37:56 am »

You can draw a parallel with LCS using a lot of western urban guerrilla or terrorist group. In fact, I have one of my own.

The MRF was a controversial British counterinsurgency group, which operated in Northern Ireland during the Troubles. Former members have described the group as an extrajudicial death squad, and they did a lot of shady, horrible things. But that's besides the point; they set up several business fronts and used them to gather intel and stage attacks. Eventually the IRA found out and attacked the business fronts, blowing their cover and forcing them into hiding, and eventually the disbandment of the MRF.

Reminds me a lot of the CSS.
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Azerty

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Re: Real-world Liberal Crime Squad (the Tupamaros of Uruguay)
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2017, 01:33:31 pm »

So, Liberal Crime Squad is not that far detached from reality, and what happens in the game really did happen once upon a time in the nation of Uruguay as a true story in an almost identical way. I thought people who enjoy the game might be interested in this. I would note that this connection between the Liberal Crime Squad and Tupamaros is entirely coincidental, and Liberal Crime Squad was not patterned after them at all. This is just a coincidence. Truth is stranger than fiction. The story of the real-world Liberal Crime Squad, the Tupamaros of Uruguay, who operated in a virtually identical fashion to the LCS in the game, is certainly an interesting one.

There is actually a movie about the Tupamaros called "State of Siege", a 1972 French film which received excellent reviews but which the U.S. government at the time harshly condemned. You could consider it "Liberal Crime Squad: The Movie". It is based on a true story, although many elements of the movie are fictionalized, for instance the names of the characters are all fictional and it was not actually filmed in Uruguay and the film is in French rather than the Spanish spoken in Uruguay. "State of Siege" is almost exactly 2 hours long and a 1972 French film, also going by the title "État de Siège", for anyone who wants to find this movie. The exact length of the film is 2 hours, 1 minute, and 34 seconds. To watch it legally, it is available from the Criterion Collection from their own website as well as on various other sites, it can be legally bought on DVD or BluRay or legally rented as a digital movie to watch on YouTube or iTunes or VUDU (and of course it has English subtitles). A friend of mine used to have a VHS tape of it but he lost it. I am NOT telling anyone how to get this movie illegally, of course, since that would go against the forum rules among other reasons.

Anyway, I just think the Tupamaros being so similar to the Liberal Crime Squad is very cool, although the fact that their actions helped lead to a backlash where the formerly peaceful and democratic nation of Uruguay became a military dictatorship for over a decade, from 1973 to 1985, that was awful, and they did commit many horrible crimes and I do not approve of that either, I just find the historical parallels of this group to the game to be amazing, even the detail of squads or cells having a maximum of 6 members, all using code names, is both true in the real Tupamaros as well as the game Liberal Crime Squad. So many details are identical, it is just the most amazing coincidence.

Glad you're back.

I agree with you: 1970s far left armed groups such as the Symbionese Liberation Army, the Primera Linea group, the Rote Armee Fraktion and the Weathermen are the real life equivalents to the LCS.

Going further on this road, the Operation Condor was just a beefed up version of the CCS, this time explicitely state-run death squads murdering opponents.

You can draw a parallel with LCS using a lot of western urban guerrilla or terrorist group. In fact, I have one of my own.

The MRF was a controversial British counterinsurgency group, which operated in Northern Ireland during the Troubles. Former members have described the group as an extrajudicial death squad, and they did a lot of shady, horrible things. But that's besides the point; they set up several business fronts and used them to gather intel and stage attacks. Eventually the IRA found out and attacked the business fronts, blowing their cover and forcing them into hiding, and eventually the disbandment of the MRF.

Reminds me a lot of the CSS.

Other equivalents might be the Gladio and the Service d'action civique.
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Re: Real-world Liberal Crime Squad (the Tupamaros of Uruguay)
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2017, 11:35:43 pm »

But the Tupamaros have a slogan! They're completely different!

Liberal Elitist

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Re: Real-world Liberal Crime Squad (the Tupamaros of Uruguay)
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2017, 01:08:40 pm »

The friend of mine who used to have a tape of the movie about the Tupamaros, he wants to start a similar LCS-style group here in the United States. I don’t think it will work. Also he is old and poor and somewhat crazy and now has cancer, and the last time he did anything major that was political activism was in the 1970s when he was a member of Students for a Democratic Society, the SDS, and he wanted to join the Weather Underground but the other SDS people he knew refused to help him with that and kept him away from the Weathermen for his own good.

He actually still is just as radical as he was back then, and is always talking about the past, and the need for revolution. I kind of think he was abandoned by history. Things like Occupy and Black Lives Matter, he likes those but he is just an observer, not a participant anymore, although he constantly, and I mean CONSTANTLY, talks about starting a revolution, and has been talking about it for years, but never done anything. He does try to recruit people sometimes but is almost always unsuccessful and hardly anyone takes him seriously. And even the people who are willing to join, he is incapable of leading them, he does not even have a car, he lives in too much poverty and is too disorganized to be able to lead any sort of movement, it is just a fantasy that helps give him a will to live and a purpose in life, even if the purpose is in vain and has no chance of success.

He tells me that in a year or two the media will interview me about his amazingly successful revolution and that I will tell them that I never doubted him and always knew he would succeed. I would never say that, and it is a total fantasy world he lives in. He talks about self-defense against the police a lot but it sounds more like offense than defense from how he describes it. He also talks quite a bit about having an education committee and an EDUCATION COMMITTEE, with the second education committee being a secret one that exists to “educate” people who refuse to be educated. This is something he gets from James P. Cannon, a famous American Trotskyist who was active with the labor union movement back in the 1930s. Two of his brothers were in the Young Socialist Alliance, the youth wing of the Socialist Workers Party, which was a Trotskyist youth group in the 1960s and 1970s, while he preferred the SDS to the YSA because he preferred action to theory. He has been talking about starting a group that would actually be similar to Liberal Crime Squad for quite some time.

I actually got him the game Liberal Crime Squad and installed it on his computer and showed it to him, but he said he doesn’t like games, he prefers action in the real world and thinks games are a waste of time. And also he didn’t like how simple and text-based it looked or how difficult the game is or how easy it is to lose or get killed or locked up a long time or how repetitive the game can get if you are trying to train a skill or something like that. And for some reason, the one part of the game he really doesn’t like is kidnapping, torturing, and interrogating people and brainwashing them, apparently he has a moral objection to this to the extent he doesn’t even want to do it in a make-believe computer game, which is a little weird to me, it is only a game after all. He is rather dismissive of the game and says “I lived it!” regarding the radical groups of the 70s and thinks the game is a cheap imitation of real life and that a real revolution is what is needed. And even when I suggest that maybe he could think of the game as a training exercise or a way to think up new strategies or tactics, he is really dismissive of this and does not have the patience for the game. This is disappointing to me because I do like the game myself and tried to make various improvements to it, and in fact, I was looking for any improvements he, as a former SDS member and actual real live radical who wants a revolution, could suggest for me to make in the game.

Yeah, really I mostly just wanted his input on the game to see if he could suggest any improvements based on his experiences. He never actually gave me any concrete suggestions other than to make the game much easier and much less repetitive. But then it would be a simple easy game where you only have to do a few things and then you get a screen saying something like “Congratulations! You won!” if I went in his direction and followed his advice, and I think that would pretty obviously make the game worse since it would be pretty boring if it were THAT easy.
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Edit: Figured it out via a little bit of trial and error and oH MY GOD WHAT IS THIS MUSIC WHAT IS THIS MUSIC WHAT THE HECK IS IT SPACEBALLS MUSIC? WHATEVER IT IS IT IS MAGICAL

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Re: Real-world Liberal Crime Squad (the Tupamaros of Uruguay)
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2017, 02:11:28 pm »

I actually got him the game Liberal Crime Squad and installed it on his computer and showed it to him

...

Yeah, really I mostly just wanted his input on the game to see if he could suggest any improvements based on his experiences. He never actually gave me any concrete suggestions other than to make the game much easier and much less repetitive. But then it would be a simple easy game where you only have to do a few things and then you get a screen saying something like “Congratulations! You won!” if I went in his direction and followed his advice, and I think that would pretty obviously make the game worse since it would be pretty boring if it were THAT easy.
I read an interview of an inmate who played the game Prison Architect, and he spent the bulk of the interview explaining why it was ridiculous that he could place a couch within a prisoner's cell.
The game is intricate, initial impressions are unlikely to help except in making it more accessible.

I respect his stance on brainwashing, and feel much the same way.  Fortunately not from experience.
Brainwashing is like torture, it doesn't actually work.  It's a cheap plot device for lazy authors, and a violation of international law and basic humanity in real life.

Back when LCS was less concerned with 'realism', when it was still possible to cut a tank in half with a sword, I didn't mind as much.  LCS was silly and self-contradictory, promoting pacifism through terrorism, gun control through violence, prison reform through kidnapping.  The Elf version of Dwarf Fortress.
But I digress.

I speculate the similarities between LCS and the Tupamaros correspond to general behaviors of clandestine groups, especially organized crime.
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SlatersQuest

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Re: Real-world Liberal Crime Squad (the Tupamaros of Uruguay)
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2017, 02:47:31 pm »

You're back - looong time no see!
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Taberone

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Re: Real-world Liberal Crime Squad (the Tupamaros of Uruguay)
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2017, 06:50:08 pm »

Interesting read. I knew that the Symbionese Liberation Army was related to LCS, but I never knew that the Tupamaros existed, or that they were even more like the LCS.

Also, it's good to see you back. Now if only Jonathan S. Fox (and/or Kamal-Sadek) could come back from the dead, too...
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SlatersQuest

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Re: Real-world Liberal Crime Squad (the Tupamaros of Uruguay)
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2017, 07:41:27 pm »

Yes, I wasn't aware of the similarities either.

By the way, welcome back, Liberal Elitist! :-)
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bluwolfie

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Re: Real-world Liberal Crime Squad (the Tupamaros of Uruguay)
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2017, 08:13:36 pm »

The friend of mine who used to have a tape of the movie about the Tupamaros, he wants to start a similar LCS-style group here in the United States. I don’t think it will work. Also he is old and poor and somewhat crazy and now has cancer, and the last time he did anything major that was political activism was in the 1970s when he was a member of Students for a Democratic Society, the SDS, and he wanted to join the Weather Underground but the other SDS people he knew refused to help him with that and kept him away from the Weathermen for his own good.

He actually still is just as radical as he was back then, and is always talking about the past, and the need for revolution. I kind of think he was abandoned by history. Things like Occupy and Black Lives Matter, he likes those but he is just an observer, not a participant anymore, although he constantly, and I mean CONSTANTLY, talks about starting a revolution, and has been talking about it for years, but never done anything. He does try to recruit people sometimes but is almost always unsuccessful and hardly anyone takes him seriously. And even the people who are willing to join, he is incapable of leading them, he does not even have a car, he lives in too much poverty and is too disorganized to be able to lead any sort of movement, it is just a fantasy that helps give him a will to live and a purpose in life, even if the purpose is in vain and has no chance of success.

He tells me that in a year or two the media will interview me about his amazingly successful revolution and that I will tell them that I never doubted him and always knew he would succeed. I would never say that, and it is a total fantasy world he lives in. He talks about self-defense against the police a lot but it sounds more like offense than defense from how he describes it. He also talks quite a bit about having an education committee and an EDUCATION COMMITTEE, with the second education committee being a secret one that exists to “educate” people who refuse to be educated. This is something he gets from James P. Cannon, a famous American Trotskyist who was active with the labor union movement back in the 1930s. Two of his brothers were in the Young Socialist Alliance, the youth wing of the Socialist Workers Party, which was a Trotskyist youth group in the 1960s and 1970s, while he preferred the SDS to the YSA because he preferred action to theory. He has been talking about starting a group that would actually be similar to Liberal Crime Squad for quite some time.

I actually got him the game Liberal Crime Squad and installed it on his computer and showed it to him, but he said he doesn’t like games, he prefers action in the real world and thinks games are a waste of time. And also he didn’t like how simple and text-based it looked or how difficult the game is or how easy it is to lose or get killed or locked up a long time or how repetitive the game can get if you are trying to train a skill or something like that. And for some reason, the one part of the game he really doesn’t like is kidnapping, torturing, and interrogating people and brainwashing them, apparently he has a moral objection to this to the extent he doesn’t even want to do it in a make-believe computer game, which is a little weird to me, it is only a game after all. He is rather dismissive of the game and says “I lived it!” regarding the radical groups of the 70s and thinks the game is a cheap imitation of real life and that a real revolution is what is needed. And even when I suggest that maybe he could think of the game as a training exercise or a way to think up new strategies or tactics, he is really dismissive of this and does not have the patience for the game. This is disappointing to me because I do like the game myself and tried to make various improvements to it, and in fact, I was looking for any improvements he, as a former SDS member and actual real live radical who wants a revolution, could suggest for me to make in the game.

Yeah, really I mostly just wanted his input on the game to see if he could suggest any improvements based on his experiences. He never actually gave me any concrete suggestions other than to make the game much easier and much less repetitive. But then it would be a simple easy game where you only have to do a few things and then you get a screen saying something like “Congratulations! You won!” if I went in his direction and followed his advice, and I think that would pretty obviously make the game worse since it would be pretty boring if it were THAT easy.

Is he even a gamer? It sounds like you were barking up the wrong tree.
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ZM5

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Re: Real-world Liberal Crime Squad (the Tupamaros of Uruguay)
« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2017, 01:58:00 pm »

This somewhat reminds me of how some of the more insidious far-left groups in Eastern Europe operated back in the day. Propagating pacifism, freedom, equality and other feel-good slogans that play on emotions, while at the same time constantly seeking to bring about a violent revolution in order to overthrow the system, and also violently shutting down their political opponents.

Of course, once they got into power in some countries, all of those slogans went out the window and their supporters were proverbially thrown under the bus, with the system turning into outright despotism.