The usually thriving city of Montevideo with its sun-drenched beaches is a shadow of its former self.
The usually thriving city of Montevideo with its sun-drenched beaches is a shadow of its former self. The golden miles of sand are virtually deserted. Cafes, bars, restaurants and other tourist attractions are empty. Foreign visitors are shunning this spot in the sun. They fear being kidnapped or involved in terrorist activities.
As Uruguayan police and troops voiced growing doubts that their massive hunt for British Ambassador Geoffrey Jackson and his terrorist kidnappers world be successful, so the country became a place to be shunned by tourists.
It appears that the Tupamaro guerrillas are succeeding if their objective is an attempt to destroy the system. They have already succeeded in badly damaging the economy. The tourist industry is one of the nation's biggest money earners. It has been wrecked by recent events.
At this time of year Montevideo should be swarming with holiday makers, should be alive with rich visitors from the prosperous neighbour Argentina, on the other side of the River Plate. But Montevideo is empty. Tourists are going elsewhere where there is little danger of being kidnapped or shot at.
The result is that only the locals are using the beaches. Cafes and hotels are deserted. Hundreds of thousands of people who depend on the visitors for their living are earning less than ever before.
Nobody knows how many Tupamaros there are, or even who they are. It is not a workers unit despite its ideology being far to the Left or even Communism. It is said that they belong to the Latin American Left that is fighting the Latin American right. Bluntly, they are described as anarchists -- anarchists who are succeeding in crippling the nation's economy.