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Date: Thu, 16 Jan 97 19:45:22 CST
From: Arm The Spirit <ats@locust.cic.net>
Subject: MRTA Communique #6

MRTA Communique #6

By Movimiento Revolucionario Tupac Amaru (MRTA)
16 January 1997

To All Journalists,

We are a guerrilla that is open to dialogue. We have always been open to dialogue, with the organizations of the people, with the rest of civil society, with journalists, even with police and soldiers, who, while being of the people and receiving miserable salaries, defend a corrupt government that enriches itself more and more while it condemns the people to hunger. There does not exist a fear on our part of speaking with journalists or to journalists observing what is happening inside the residence. Likewise, we ask that the journalists have the same right to enter the prisons to see the situation in which the prisoners find themselves. You, journalist friends, know - just as the government knows - that the departure from the residence of the women, of the service employees, and of more than 400 personalities and ambassadors, was part of a unilateral decision by the members of the Edgar Sanchez Commando to demonstrate their will to arrive at a political and not a military solution in the matter of the taking of the Japanese ambassador's residence in Lima.

Still, one awaits even a single humanitarian gesture on the part of the government. It has not, for example, freed the women who are found in various prisons, the sisters, mothers, and daughters of our people who have been tortured, harassed, and raped in the torture chambers and prisons of Peru, as a result of which they suffer from diverse illnesses. It has not even freed the companeros, both men and women, whose illnesses are acute. Therefore, there haven't been any conversations which arrived at agreements. The persons that the Edgar Sanchez Commando considered not to have links to the policies of dirty war, torture, and assassinations, or to the application of the neo-liberal policy that has caused so many deaths among the Peruvian people, were already freed with the sole commitment of doing everything they could so that the solution would be political and not military. We are sure that they will do what is within their power as a matter of conscience.

At no time has the Edgar Sanchez Commando said that it is going to free 50 more persons. That is another lie of Mr. Fujimori and his intelligence service, which has become accustomed to governing on the basis of lies. Withg this new lies, he undoubtedly wants the international press to censor itself, since he can't throw you all in prison to accomplish that. In Peru, there have been 70 journalists imprisoned. The 22-year-old journalist Melisa Alfaro was killed by a letter bomb sent by the intelligence service; the magazine Cambio where she worked was finally closed down and the journalists and employees imprisoned, although some managed to leave the country to live in exile. In Ayacucho, it was proven that the army was involved in the disappearance of one journalist and in the deaths of two correspondents from Caretas Magazine and the newspaper La Republica. Other liberal magazines and newspapers have had to close down due to economic pressures. This repression against the men and women of the free press has left only pro-government journalism that puts a gag on itself as a means of survival.


Isaac Velasco,
International Representative of the MRTA


Arm The Spirit is an autonomist/anti-imperialist information collective based in Toronto, Canada.

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