1. The SWAT teams that were initially sent in were practically useless. According to the website Badass Of The Week, “When the SWAT guys tried to launch tear gas through the windows, the terrorists pulled out…gas masks and kept firing.”2. The MRTA organization as a whole was armed to the teeth and widely feared for their brutality.3. The building itself was bulletproof, grenadeproof and generally everything-proof. It was so secure that the terrorists had to use explosives to blast their way inside. Once they got cozy, they further upped the security by planting land mines on the mansion grounds and installing AA (anti-aircraft) guns on the roof.
When the plan was finally hashed out, preparations commenced. If you don’t want your mind blown by the audacious insanity of it, please look away now.
To successfully take down a notorious, very well-armed and very dangerous terrorist cell, you need guys who know what they’re doing and preferably have guns on them. 142 (that’s 70 plus 70 plus 2) Peruvian Special Forces commandos were hand-picked for the mission and trained by US Special Forces, thus giving them a level of butt-kickery Chuck Norris would envy and officially rendering them immune to fear.
While Special Forces training of any nation is generally considered insane, the training methods for Operation Chavin de Huantar were so outrageously audacious that it’s a wonder they pulled it off. They built an exact replica of the mansion on a nearby island, set up shop, and spent an entire year practicing for the mission. This was all done in total secrecy, of course.
Back on the mainland, journalists and newsmen were sent into the mansion, ostensibly to interview the terrorists, but in reality to gather as much intel as they could about the conditions inside. Meanwhile, a system of nine heated and ventilated tunnels was being dug underneath the real mansion, with the police above-ground blasting loud music and blaring sirens to cover the sound of the drilling. The hostages were brought up to speed on the operation by the journalists, but the terrorists were completely unaware of the awesomeness that was about to happen.