Thursday, July 16, 2015

Tarata Street

Strolling through Miraflores last week, Liz and I stumbled across Tarata Street, which I had known about but had never visited.

Before 1992, Tarata was just a quiet Miraflores side street -much as it is today- but on the night of July 16, 1992 - 23 years ago today, in fact- a powerful Shining Path car bomb exploded there.

There were one or two reports at the time (which I cannot find now) that indicated that the carbomb was actually intended for the banks on the main avenue a block away, but the car collided with a pickup truck at the intersection where the monument now stands and was abandoned minutes before it exploded.  

Those reports were buried or swept aside by the horrendous toll: 183 homes, 400 businesses, and 63 automobiles were either damaged or destroyed, and 25 people were killed and another 155 wounded that night.

People connected with the Shining Path have a t various points corroborated those initial reports that the bomb was not targeted at the civilian population, that it was intended for the banks, that it was a mistake, that the charge was too large.  However, it is hard to see how that one short block would have made any difference given the size of the charge used.  The shockwave would have still travelled down the canyon formed by Tarata's buildings and blown in very window, showering residents with flying shards of glass and other debris.  Either way, it is of little comfort to those who were hurt or lost loved ones.

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