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Movement of the Revolutionary Left

The militant Movement of the Revolutionary Left (Movimiento Izquierda Revolucionaria; MIR) began as a Marxist-Leninist group in Chile dedicated to popular revolution. Founded by Miguel Enriquez, a young medical student in Concepción, the MIR held its first meeting in August 1965.

The group, made up primarily of young students associated with the Young Socialist Party, grew in influence first in Chile's provinces, and later among university students in the capital, indigenous people, industrial workers, and miners. At its strongest in 1970, the MIR had some 40,000 members.

In the mid-1960s, the MIR organized the poor and homeless to take over land as squatters and to work cooperatively to build houses. By 1969, the MIR had also developed an underground structure of armed groups across the country. These groups began to rob banks; discussion was heated among the established Chilean left about MIR's evolution ...

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