Two Hostages Freed As Rebels Meet With Reporters

  • Share
  • Read Later
LIMA, Peru: As the slow lock-step process of negotiating an end to the three-week old hostage crisis continued, Peruvian rebels released two more hostages Tuesday afternoon and renewed their demands that their jailed comrades be released. Their statements were shouted to TV journalists, who for the first time had been allowed to enter the Japanese ambassador's residence, where 81 people are still being held captive. Released were Honduran Ambassador Eduardo Martel and Argentine Consul Juan Antonio Ibanez. "Any harm to (the hostages) will be the exclusive responsibility of the government of (President Alberto) Fujimori if he decides upon a military intervention," shouted a rebel, later identified as the group's leader Nestor Cerpa. He said they were willing to make the "ultimate sacrifice" in the hostage situation. Under Fujimori's administration, he said, the abhorrent conditions in Peru's prisons meant nothing less than the death penalty. While President Fujimori has said he would not free the 300 Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement rebels imprisoned in Peru under any circumstances, he allowed this week that he would consider granting safe passage out of the country to the rebels if they release the captives and lay down their weapons. With Tuesday's renewed demands, there seems to be no easy end in sight.