Peru hostage crisis at impasse on Christmas Eve
In this story:
December 24, 1996
Web posted at: 8:45 a.m. EST (1345 GMT)
LIMA, Peru (CNN) -- Freed hostages were calling for a
negotiated end to the week-long siege at the Japanese
ambassador's house, but there was no sign Tuesday that Peru's
government or the rebels who still hold 140 hostages were
willing to give any ground.
The group remaining inside the walled residence -- including
Japanese businessmen, top Peruvian officials and two brothers
of Peru's president -- were in their seventh day of
confinement with no end in sight.
Neither side made any public statements Monday, the day after
225 hostages were released.
Electricity, water and telephone services to the building
remained cut off Tuesday, on government orders. However,
electricity was restored for 45 minutes on Monday so water
for drinking and flushing toilets could be pumped to a tank
on the roof.
No negotiators since Sunday
Red Cross officials, who are mediating the crisis, said no
negotiator had been inside the house since Sunday.
The aid agency said it planned to send in "something special"
-- perhaps a Christmas dinner -- on Tuesday for Christmas
Eve. Latin Americans traditionally celebrate Christmas with
a family meal on the night of December 24.
Overnight, a small group of Peruvians maintained a candlelit
vigil close to the residence, seized December 17 by leftist
rebels of the Tupac Amaru movement.
Their demand for the release of 300 jailed colleagues has
been rejected by Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori.
The head of Peru's anti-terrorist forces is among those being
held captive by a group he thought he had brought to its
"The intelligence forces were busy prosecuting opposition
leaders instead of worrying about (the rebels)," Peruvian
political analyst Pedro Planas told CNN.
In related developments Tuesday:
- Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto said in Tokyo
that he fears the rebels are settling in for a long war of
nerves. However, he added that Japan still opposed sending in
troops to rescue the hostages.
- Japan will hire more security guards to protect its
diplomatic offices overseas from terrorist attack, Foreign
Minister Yukihiko Ikeda said in Tokyo.
- Japan's Foreign Ministry said the Red Cross had set up a
clinic in the Japanese ambassador's residence to give medical
care to the hostages.
- Ethnic Japanese Peruvians have become the target of
attacks from Japanese apparently angered by the hostage
crisis. Shops and cars owned by Peruvians in the immigrant
community of Isezak, Japan, have been stoned in an outbreak
of Peru-bashing, police and residents said.
Correspondent Lucia Newman in Lima and Reuters contributed to this report.
- Stalemate develops in Peru hostage crisis - December 23, 1996
- 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
Related sites: Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.
© 1996 Cable News Network, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.