Strong-Arm Tactics Win Big
Peru hostages rescued, raid may mark new era of using force against terror.
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Dec. 18: The guerrillas threaten to start killing hostages unless the Peruvian government releases up to 500 jailed comrades.Skip to next paragraph
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Dec. 19: Four ambassadors are released to be a "communications channel" between the rebels and the government. Electricity, water, and phone services to the residence are cut off.
Dec. 20: Rebels release 38 more hostages.
Dec. 21: Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori, in a televised speech, refuses to make concessions to the rebels but says he will study a nonviolent "way out" if the guerrillas lay down their arms and free all hostages.
Dec. 22: The guerrillas release 225 hostages not linked to the government as a "Christmas gesture."
Dec. 24: Rebels release Uruguay's ambassador after his country frees two MRTA prisoners.
Dec. 25: A Japanese diplomat is released for medical reasons.
Dec. 26: Explosion - believed to be an animal triggering a mine - at the residence. Later the Guatemalan ambassador is freed.
Dec. 28: Government negotiator Domingo Palermo enters the residence for the first face-to-face negotiations with the MRTA. The rebels release 20 hostages.
Dec. 31: The Honduran ambassador and an Argentine diplomat are freed.
Jan. 1, 1997: Rebels release seven captives, lowering hostage total to 74.
Jan. 12: A planned meeting between Palermo and rebel leader Nestor Cerpa Cartolini is called off as rebels insist the talks center on the release of jailed MRTA members. Palermo proposes a "guarantor commission" made up of the government, MRTA, Red Cross, and Peruvian Bishop Juan Luis Cipriani.
Jan. 15: Rebels agree to commission as long as everything - including freedom for jailed comrades - be on the table.
Jan. 17: Rebels free the head of the Delta special forces unit of Peru's antiterrorist police, on medical grounds.
Jan. 26: The general of national police is freed after faking an illness. He gives Peru logistical information on rebels.
Feb. 11: Organized talks between two sides begin.
Feb. 20: Rebel leader Cerpa attends talks for the first time.
March 3: Mr. Fujimori travels to Cuba to request asylum for the rebels.
March 4: Peruvian government proposes plan to free hostages and send rebels to Cuba.
March 6: Rebels call off next round of talks, accusing the government of trying to tunnel into the compound. Peru denies the accusation, but diplomats and news media confirm excavation.
March 12: Talks break down over the rebels' demand that their comrades be released from jail.
March 18: The Japanese foreign minister begins talks in Peru, Cuba, and Dominican Republic. Reports indicate Peru has agreed to review sentences of jailed rebels not imprisoned for violent crimes and that rebels have agreed to accept Cuba's offer of asylum.
March 21: Mediators outline a tentative settlement to end the standoff whereby rebels would release the hostages and travel to Cuba in exchange for early parole for some jailed comrades. Fujimori vehemently denies there was any agreement.
April 20: Peru's interior minister and national police chief resign suddenly, citing security lapses that allowed the rebels to seize hostages. Fujimori replaces them with two hard-line generals.
April 22: Peruvian troops storm the Japanese ambassador's residence, killing all 14 of the rebels. One hostage later dies and two soldiers are also killed.
- Compiled by a staff writer