The Núcleos Antagónicos de la Nueva Guerrilla Urbana (Antagonic Nuclei of the New Urban Guerrilla) is an organization active since 2011 formed by collectives, individuals and groups (1) that subscribed to the ideas of insurrectionary anarchism. Their militant actions usually involve the placement of explosive and incendiary devices, as well as direct armed attacks. The group underwent an internal restructuration after three of its cells left the informal organization without providing a reason in 2019. These cells were the Celula Karr-kai, Fuerzas Por El Desborde de La Civilización, and Columna Insurreccional “Ira y Complot” (2). Since that year, there have been no news or updates regarding the group’s campaign.
History & Foundations
The first mention of the group can be traced back to an online post from the 13th of May 2011 where they claimed responsibility (alongside another group called Circulo Iconoclasta Michele Angiolillo) for the placement of an incendiary device inside of a bank which was deactivated by the Chilean police force (3). The post concluded with the statement “there is no hierarchical organization here, [but rather] only the will to fight against everything that stands in the way of our freedom” (4).
While no exact founding date can be found for the group, this is not surprising given the ideological nature of the organization. Indeed, the individuals who were part of this group subscribed to the idea of ‘informal organization’, which – in the words of the main theorist of contemporary insurrectionary anarchism Alfredo Bonnano – implies that “affinity groups and comrades that see themselves in an informal kind of projectuality come together in action, certainly not by adhering to a program that has been fixed at a congress. They realize the project themselves, in their analyses and actions. It can occasionally have a point of reference in a paper or a series of meetings, but only in order to facilitate things, whereas it has nothing to do with congresses and such like.” (5) This mode of organization is considered by insurrectionary anarchists as an alternative to the organization structures from the beginning of the 20th century – syndicate, party, vanguard, etc.
The group also puts an emphasis on specific actions and doesn't have an organizational objective, per se. As a result, the groups tend to be small in numbers as they are dependent on the affinity between individuals or, as Bonanno states: “the comrades who recognise themselves in an informal organization are automatically a part of it. Their measure of communication with other group members is through paper or by other means, but, more importantly, they do so by participating in the various actions, demonstrations and encounters that take place from time to time. The main verification and analysis therefore comes about during moments of struggle.” (6)
It is precisely because of these ideological characteristics that the history of the group can be seen from the outside as a series of attacks. The group consistently claimed responsibility for four attacks a year during 2016-2018. Even though the nature of the attacks were violent, the group claimed that, in order to avoid injuring innocents, they chose specific times and objectives (7). In 2019, the group claimed 3 attacks. By the end of the year, they released a written work titled “Sobre fantasmas insurreccionales y banderas falsas. Análisis de la revuelta en Chile” (On Insurrectionary Ghosts and Fake Flags. Analysis of the Revolt in Chile) (8). This work is centered mainly on the characteristics of the revolt as a phenomenon in Chile and the ways it has historically developed, but also offered also some insight into the groups actions and ideological characteristics. Furthermore, they expressed their view that there is now a need to lay low in terms of the usage of violence, not giving the state reasons to increase their security measures.
Approach to Resistance & Capabilities
The actions of the Antagonic Nuclei are described by the group itself as minimal violence (‘violencia minoritaria’) arguing that, even though they value the use of violence as a mean to achieve political aims, using it indiscriminately and out of proportions would only be of use to the Chilean state as an excuse to increase the repression (9). In essence, their attacks can be split into three categories: explosive attacks, IED attacks, and incendiary attacks (10). The group also used to adhere to protests and riots but we are not able to assert the scope and impact of their participation (11).
The explosive attacks mainly involve the usage of IEDs which were not always successfully detonated, as admitted by the group itself (12), and targeted a broad array of institutional infrastructure like banks (13), police offices (14), political party offices (15) and a restaurant, which – according to the group – was a meeting place for right-wingers (16). On the other hand, the incendiary attacks operate similarly although the device is of a different nature and the objectives tend to be smaller, targeting places such as public transportation (17). Nonetheless, there has been an attempted attack on a bank branch, where the device contained gasoline and 190 grams of butane, and was wired with a battery, a lightbulb and a clock. However, due to the clock failing, the bomb did not detonate (18).
The simulated attacks, as insinuated by their name, acted more as a show of force, as they stated in one of their public messages claiming responsibility for a coordinated simulated attack: “With both actions our objective is to make clear that their structures are vulnerable, the civil advance of security is not an impediment to attacks, [...] Social war advances with the necessity to reinvent and to make sequels that remain and fissure every glimpse of power and property out of our impacts. Know that our objectives were crowded places exclusively because the artifacts were simulated. Our attack is against the control mechanisms, our message is their vulnerability and our purpose is to devastate every sign of the material civilization and their embodiment in physical structures.” (19) This particular attack consisted of the placement of two devices, fire extinguishers connected with wires to a clock device, one inside a shopping mall and another inside a public transport bus, according to the group they were put in highly concurred places only because they wouldn’t cause any harm (20).
Relations & Alliances
The group expressed solidarity with anyone who shared their points of view, which essentially translates to every other insurrectionary anarchist in Chile and the world (21). Furthermore, they are known to frequently operate alongside different anarchist cells in the country (22).
Works Cited (Chicago-style)
(7) - Núcleos Antagónicos de la Nueva Guerrilla Urbana, “Sobre Fantasmas Insurreccionales y Banderas Falsas”.
2019. Accessed through: https://cedema.org/digital_items/8469. and
(9) - Núcleos Antagónicos de la Nueva Guerrilla Urbana, “Sobre Fantasmas Insurreccionales y Banderas Falsas”.2019. Accessed through: https://cedema.org/digital_items/8469.
(18) - CHV media description: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFzzWG0Fg3k&list=PL2FB8F752619180D8&index=59
(21) - Núcleos Antagónicos de la Nueva Guerrilla Urbana, “Sobre Fantasmas Insurreccionales y Banderas Falsas”.
2019. Accessed through: https://cedema.org/digital_items/8469.
Images of some of the group's weaponry, as seen in their publications.