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Hostages in Peru: ICRC's humanitarian action continues

08-01-1997 News Release 97/01

The ICRC is continuing to provide food and medical assistance for the hostages held since 17 December last at the Japanese ambassador's residence in Lima by members of the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA). 

Every day delegates deliver two hot meals per person, water, hygiene items and other basic necessities to the residence, and two ICRC doctors give regular medical consultations to the 74 people still being held there.

During the past three weeks delegates have also been offering the hostages moral support and have arranged for the exchange of some 1,800 Red Cross messages between them and their families.

The ICRC is trying to maintain, by its presence, a calm atmosphere both inside and outside the residence. It constantly reminds Peruvian government representatives and MRTA members alike that one condition for its presence is that no initiative be taken which could endanger the hostages'lives or physical safety.

At the start of the crisis the ICRC was asked by the Peruvian authorities and the representatives of the MRTA to act as a neutral intermediary. It is working to facilitate dialogue between the two parties with a view to securing a peaceful solution.