Rebels refuse to budge in Peru
January 18, 1997
Web posted at: 8:15 p.m. EST (0115 GMT)
LIMA, Peru (CNN) -- Skirting the recent jamming of their
radio frequency, leftist rebels holding 73 hostages used a
new radio frequency Saturday to broadcast their rejection
once more of the government's conditions for talks.
The Tupac Amaru rebels accused government representative Domingo
Palermo of reneging on his earlier pledge to consider all
issues on the table -- which in the rebels' view includes the
release of some 400 jailed rebels.
The government has said the release of the
rebels' jailed colleagues is not up for discussion.
"There is no possibility of an immediate way to begin talks
because in practicality, what they're asking -- is for us to
denounce our principal petition, which to us, amounts to a
condition we will never accept," said a rebel spokesman.
The man giving the address was assumed to be the rebel leader
Nestor Cerpa, speaking from within the occupied Japanese
But the rebels did accept the offer for Canadian ambassador
and former hostage Anthony Vincent to be an observer to any
talks. Vincent has confirmed he would participate.
Palermo has also proposed a meeting outside the residence.
The rebel spokesman said he would communicate with the
government over where the talks might be held. There was no
indication when the two sides might meet.
The rebels got more of their message across by unfurling new
homemade banners on bed sheets from the rooftop of the mined
and booby-trapped building the control.
"Most of the population would like to feed themselves as
well as the authorities held here," read one message,
referring to the meals provided daily by the Red Cross during
the 32-day siege.
The banners also claimed the captive officials were
"responsible for the government's policies that affect the
people," and that the rebels' jailed comrades also had
families who wanted their relatives' freedom.
The rebels' banners blew over during the morning, but
surprisingly two hostages appeared on the roof to rearrange
them. The two were identified by the task force as Japanese
Embassy attache Shinji Yamamoto and second secretary Akihisa
Former hostage Luis Valencia, released Friday for medical
reasons, kept public silence about his experience. The Red
Cross said Valencia, former head of the Delta special forces
unit of the anti-terrorist police, has ulcers. He was the
first hostage released in 17 days.
The rebels have freed all but 73 of the more than 500
hostages seized at a December 17 party at the residence.
Correspondent Susan Candiotti contributed to this report.
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