It all started on the night of December 17, 1996, at the Japanese Embassy in Lima, Peru. It was invaded by the MRTA (Revolutionary Movement Tupac Amaru). The guerrillas were calling for the release of 500 comrades who were in prison.
The Tupac Amaru organization in Peru was virtually extinct. The takeover of the embassy was a demonstration that the group was still active and was planning its reconstruction. "Either we get our comrades free or we will die with the hostages," said the Tupac Amaru member.
The 610 people who met at the embassy for an official reception for the birthday of the Emperor of Japan Akihito, hostages were taken. This was one of the most impressive kidnappings in history, because it lasted an incredible 126 days. It was second only to the 444-day occupation of the US Embassy in Tehran, Iran.
It was all over when police and military invaded the Japanese ambassador's home and released the remaining 72 hostages. All 14 Tupac Amaru guerrillas were slaughtered. Unfortunately, hostage Carlos Giusti, a Supreme Court judge, was killed along with two soldiers. 5 other hostages were injured.
Operation Chavín de Huantar
80 agents broke into the embassy to rescue the hostages at exactly 3:30 pm. They were equipped with bulletproof vest, President Alberto Fujimori accompanied everything on the spot. He said the hostages were released "safe and sound" on a 40-minute mission.
One guerrilla claims that four of the youngest kidnappers tried to surrender, but were still killed by the military. President Fujimori confirmed the casualty figures and said that "there was no other way" to resolve the situation.
The guerrillas who invaded the embassy played soccer daily. The military took advantage of this occasion and invaded the embassy through a tunnel. Ambassador Jorge Gumucio said that the hostages had been warned in advance that there would be military intervention.
Among the freed hostages were two Peruvian ministers, the ambassadors of Japan and Bolivia, 23 other Japanese citizens and several Peruvians, including President Fujimori's brother.
The guerrilla leader was Néstor Cerpa Cartolini, behind only Víctor Polay Campos, the group's founder. O Túpac Amaru Revolutionary Movement was founded in 1984, inspired by other leftist guerrillas from countries in the region.
During and after the operation, several explosions of unknown origin occurred inside the Japanese ambassador's home. It is not known whether the explosions were caused by grenades or by explosives that the terrorists placed on the scene.
This was the historic event involving Japan and Peru. In case you don't know, Peru has a good relationship with the Japanese and has received many immigrants. Peruvians can even entering Japan without a visa, thanks to the good relations that the Japanese president provided by governing the turkey.
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