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The Collective
Saturday, July 21, 2007
By Dr. Steven Taylor

I was doing a little writing this morning and was looking up a factoid about the Colombian former guerrilla group the M-19 that led to a reference to an Ecuadoran guerrilla group that I hadn’t thought about in years, but that is clearly the very best name for a guerrilla group ever.

That name?

¡Alfaro Vive, Carajo! (which translates, Alfaro Lives, Dammit!).

When spoken aloud in Spanish with the appropriate gusto, it has quite the visceral sound that is perfect for a guerrilla organization. In English it is simply freakin’ funny.

For those who care about actual details, the group is no longer active, and many of its members moved into non-violent politics as the result of a national dialog in 1991. Based on the one reference work at my immediate disposal it is unclear if the group continued to use the name in the electoral realm or was absorbed by another, existing, party.

The name is a reference to an Ecuadoran general/President (Eloy Alfaro) who was assassinated in the early Twentieth Century. Why it would be of symbolic importance that he lives, or why his named should be associated with an explicative is unclear based on my limited knowledge of the subject.

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Filed under: Latin America | |

2 Comments

  1. Hadn’t thought about it in a while, eh? That’s only because we haven’t reminisced about those days in some time, no?

    It is a name that is hard to beat, for sure.

    The Nohlen volume (Elections in the Americas, vol. 2, Oxford 2005) does not show any electoral party ever using that name. So, I guess Alfaro está muerto, carajao!

    Comment by MSS — Sunday, July 22, 2007 @ 1:38 pm

  2. Indeed, I am fairly certain the last time anyone mentioned AVC it was you in class.

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Sunday, July 22, 2007 @ 1:57 pm

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