Date: Tue, 24 Dec 96 17:08:43 CST
From: Arm The Spirit <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Interview With The MRTA - December 24, 1996
"How Long Will The Residence Stay Occupied?"
Interview With Isaac Velazco, European Representative Of The Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA)
24 December 1996
Translated By Arm The Spirit.
More than 200 hostages have been released. Is an end to the embassy
No. The release of these hostages was a humanitarian act by the
commando, a Christmas gesture for those non-involved prisoners of war.
Those hostages which remain prisoners of war are people who are involved
in the state terrorist policies of the Fujimori regime. These people
include, for example, members of the national police, and judges who
have passed terror sentences with no legal basis. These convicted
persons are now in Fujimori's hands.
What is your political estimation of the embassy occupation?
One goal of the action was to draw the world's attention to the
violations of human rights in Peru. We have appealed for years to
international organizations, human rights groups, and parties. But there
was no interest. At least now the world is talking about Peruvian state
terrorism, torture, and the disappearance of opposition activists. That
is the first success of this action.
Is it true that the MRTA commando offered to abandon the armed struggle
by the MRTA altogether if Fujimori accepted the group's demands?
I cannot confirm that. Such information has not come from the
leadership of the MRTA. The concept of "giving up" does not exist for
the MRTA. Fujimori stated that no peace negotiations were possible. We
say: There can be no peace with a government which follows policies of
state terrorism and which hands over the natural wealth of the nation to
So the danger remains that the embassy - perhaps with the aid of
American elite troops - could be stormed by force?
The MRTA commando is prepared for anything, even this. They will
not spare the lives of the hostages if the situation so demands. Because
the occupation of the embassy is not a scenario. We are talking about a
real-life situation here. It is a situation of war, and there may be
deaths. Furthermore, should there be a military assault on the embassy
by the government, the MRTA are prepared to respond by attacking
political and economic targets all across Peru.
What conditions are the MRTA political prisoners in?
Few people know that 300 political prisoners of the MRTA are in
an unlimited hunger strike in prisons all across Peru right now. They
are even refusing to take in liquid vitamins. Their situation is truly
very critical and is deserving of international attention.
In addition to the release of 300 political prisoners and the end of
neo-liberal policies, the commando are also demanding a war tax. What
For 500 years, the people of Peru have been exploited by
colonialists and neo-colonialism, while a small class of rich people
have lived in wealth. This war tax will be used to give back some of
these profits for the good of the people, and the money will be donated
to popular organizations. A small amount will used to keep up the
struggle by the MRTA.
MRTA Solidarity Page: http://burn.ucsd.edu/~ats/mrta.htm
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