Burial of Peruvian rebels raises suspicion

LIMA, Peru (AP) — The mother of a leftist rebel killed in last week’s hostage rescue demanded Monday that her daughter’s body be exhumed, amid suspicions that commandos may have killed some rebels who surrendered.
The bodies of 12 of the 14 Tupac Amaru rebels killed when troops stormed the Japanese ambassador’s mansion, where the rebels held 72 hostages, were buried in various unmarked graves around Lima.
Authorities’ refusal to disclose the locations has raised suspicions among relatives that some guerrillas were summarily killed even after surrendering.
Eligia Rodriguez Bustamante, mother of 20-year-old Luz Dina Villoslada, filed a request for the exhumation with the attorney general’s office.
“She wants to make sure the body, in fact, is that of her daughter,” said Jose Ramirez, a spokesman for Aprodeh, a human rights organization.
News reports quoting unidentified intelligence sources say two young women among the rebels were shot after they threw down their weapons and yelled: “We surrender! We surrender!”
President Alberto Fujimori has denied the reports but admitted in an interview with The Associated Press that he gave an order to “neutralize” all the rebels. He said the priority was to rescue the 72 hostages alive.
Seventy-one of the hostages were rescued; one hostage and two soldiers died in the April 22 attack.
Also Monday, the Red Cross denied any role in slipping microphones into the ambassador’s residence via recreational and other items brought in for the hostages during their months of captivity.
Reports during the weekend said radio equipment had been smuggled in in a chess piece, guitar, crutches and even a Bible, and had helped officials time the commando attack at an opportune moment and warn the hostages.
The Red Cross, which maintains neutrality during crises, was allowed access into the residence in its role as intermediary and to deliver medical and other items to hostages.
Ruben Ortega, a spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva, said the Red Cross did not help conceal the microphones and that all items were inspected by rebels on the receiving end.
“It is a little bit absurd to assert that ICRC or its delegates had any sort of role in these events,” Ortega said.
In Copenhagen, Denmark, six Tupac Amaru sympathizers and three members of a TV crew occupied the Peruvian consulate for two hours Monday to highlight the allegations of summary killings of rebels at the residence. All were arrested and to be charged with trespassing.