Peruvian rebels agree to peace negotiations
Repeat demand that government release their comrades
January 15, 1997
Web posted at: 11:15 a.m. EST (1615 GMT)
LIMA, Peru (CNN) -- Tupac Amaru rebels holding 74 hostages
inside the Japanese ambassador's residence on
Wednesday accepted a Peruvian government proposal for a peace
commission to mediate an end to the four-week-old standoff.
The rebels also reiterated their promise not to kill any of
"It is not in our minds to carry out executions," they said
in a statement.
In their statement, via a two-way radio transmission, the
rebels said they would like the commission to be made up of
representatives from the Catholic church, the International
Red Cross, Guatemala and an unnamed European country.
The rebels said they wanted all topics
to be discussed, including their principal demand for the
release of 400 of their comrades from Peruvian prisons. They
also said that a site for the negotiations could be
The transmission was picked up after the rebels put a sign in
a window telling a local television station to tune to a
There was no immediate response from the government.
On Sunday, an attempt by the government's negotiator,
Education Minister Domingo Palermo, to meet with the rebels
failed after rebel leader Nestor Cerpa said there would be no
point in the talks if the government did not bring a proposal
for freeing the rebels from Peruvian prisons.
Wednesday's rebel statements appeared to be similar to a
proposal made by Palermo on Sunday. He told a news conference
the government was proposing the following:
- The creation of a 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
- Selection of a suitable location for the meetings.
- The topics to be discussed would be those "already
identified in previous contacts."
On several occasions, Peruvian Bishop Juan Luis Cipriani who
lives in an area where the rebels have their headquarters,
has talked with the rebels. His discussions have led to the
release of hostages on more than one occasion. Cipriani is
also a close friend of Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori.
The Tupac Amaru guerrillas stormed the Japanese ambassador's
residence on December 17. Since then, they have release about
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