Peruvian hostage talks fail to materialize
January 12, 1997
Web posted at: 10:00 p.m. EST (0300 GMT)
LIMA, Peru (CNN) -- Talks between the government and
rebels holding 74 hostages failed to develop Sunday after the
guerrillas stuck to demands for the release of their jailed
comrades, Peru's negotiator said.
Domingo Palermo said that as he prepared for his first direct contact with Tupac Amaru rebels since December 31, they issued a demand that he bring a government proposal for the release of some 300 prisoners.
Palermo described that as an "unacceptable precondition."
Tupac Amaru rebels seized hostages at the home of the Japanese ambassador December 17.
Government issues framework
President Alberto Fujimori has repeatedly said he would not free any of the imprisoned terrorists, but the government Sunday issued a proposal for the framework of future talks.
A key point is creation of a guarantor commission made up of representatives of the International Red Cross and the Vatican to preside over the talks between the designated representatives of the rebels and the Peruvian government.
Both sides also would select a suitable place for the meetings and would identify in advance topics to be discussed, the Peruvian government proposed.
"This proposal has as its intent the peaceful solution that we all desire," said Palermo, speaking at the end of a long day during which two key intermediaries visited the captives.
The rebels haven't yet responded.
Archbishop Juan Luis Cipriani spent more than two hours inside the diplomatic compound before leaving without speaking with reporters.
Red Cross representative Michel Minnig also visited the
hostages. "The only thing I can tell you is the hostages are
fine," Minnig said.
Marchers demand freedom
Fujimori spent Sunday preparing for a visit by Ecuadorean
President Abdala Bucaram on Monday -- the first ever of an
Ecuadorean head of state to Peru. The two countries have clashed several times over their disputed border, most recently in 1995.
Several thousand people marched near the compound Sunday to
demand the hostages' freedom, the largest demonstration since the crisis began.
Correspondent Lucia Newman contributed to this report
Related sites: Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.
© 1997 Cable News Network, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.