Stalemate develops in Peru hostage crisis
December 23, 1996
Web posted at: 10:45 p.m. EST (0345 GMT)
LIMA, Peru (CNN) -- Leftist rebels gave no sign Monday of releasing some 140 remaining hostages, a day after letting 225 people leave the home of the Japanese ambassador.
An apparent stalemate developed. No new messages from the rebels were spotted in the residence windows, and the government made no public response to Sunday's hostage release.
Electricity, telephone and water services to the building remained cut, despite reports of the hardships and hygienic risks that action was creating for the hostages. About 900 police kept the residence surrounded.
About 20 Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA) guerrillas stormed the residence last Tuesday during a reception, taking more than 500 hostages. About 170 hostages were freed early on and 38 more were released Friday.
Home video taken at the party became available Monday. It shows dignitaries socializing before it cuts to the image of a man seizing another man by the throat and holding him in a headlock.
Amateur video of rebels seizing hostages
(26 sec. /864K small QuickTime movie)
(26 sec. /1.8M large QuickTime movie)
Former hostages warned against a possible government siege, saying the rebels are heavily armed and have mined parts of the building. Among those still held is Peru's anti-terrorist chief and a brother of Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori.
Peruvian security experts say the rebels trained for months to carry out the attack.
The International Red Cross has been supplying food, water and hygienic supplies to those inside the building. The team regularly allowed to enter the residence includes a doctor and nurse. There have been no reports of hostage injuries.
The head of the Red Cross delegation has adopted the role of "neutral intermediary," taking messages between the two sides, said Red Cross spokesman Steven Anderson.
"There are some meetings taking place," Anderson said, declining to be more specific. (23 sec. /280K AIFF or WAV sound)
The rebels have demanded that the government set free jailed MRTA comrades before ending the siege. Fujimori has refused.
Fujimori paid a brief first visit Monday to the scene of the siege, but did not get out of his bullet-proof car.
In Japan, Emperor Akihito canceled all official birthday celebrations Monday. Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto followed developments in a special war room in the Foreign Ministry fitted out with television monitors.
Correspondent Lucia Newman and Reuters contributed to this report.
- Peru rebels dig in with remaining 140 hostages - December 23, 1996
- Rebels free more hostages in
'Christmas gesture' - December 23, 1996
- Peru hostage crisis: Deep
differences between government and rebels - December 23, 1996
- Peruvians march in support of hostages - December 22, 1996
- Fujimori breaks silence and
urges release of hostages - December 21, 1996
- Peru rejects use of force to end crisis - December 21, 1996
- 38 hostages released in Peru - December 20, 1996
- Peru officially silent on hostage crisis - December 20, 1996
- Report: Peru rejects rebels' demands to free prisoners - December 19, 1996
- Four hostages released in Peruvian standoff - December 19, 1996
- Red Cross official named hostage
negotiator in Peru - December 19, 1996
- Japan's foreign minister goes to Peru for hostage talks - December 19, 1996
- Tupac Amaru -- Peru's smaller
guerrilla group - December 18, 1996
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