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By Richard Petty Deegan
(Lima) On Thursday, April 27, after Stanford/Harvard alumni and Peruvian presidential candidate, Alejandro Toledo Manrique, indicated his willingness to free terrorist MRTA ringleader Lori Berenson and other convicted terrorists, the reaction in Peru was prompt and overwhelmingly negative. Although his statement, which was reported by Reuters, AP, Agencie France Presse, EFE, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, was not covered in Peru’s largest-circulation newspapers, El Comercio and LaRepublica (or on their TV/radio stations), it managed to be heard via video tape on some news shows and later appeared in those Peruvian newspapers that are not openly hostile to President Fujimori.
As the Peruvian citizenry became alarmed at Toledo Manrique’s latest attempt to self destruct, his spokesmen were quick to work on “spinning” the issue. Carlos Ferrero, of Peru Possible stated that what was said by Toledo manrique was spoken in English, and it wasn’t 'appropriate' to translate it into Spanish. Luis Solari, another designated representative, denied that Toledo Manrique had said anything at all! However, it turned out that Toledo Manrique's desire to free terrorists (which would not appeal to any Peruvian who had suffered through the era of bombs and assaults provoked and planned by these groups) was simply a repetition of statements made during a presidential debate with another candidate in Miami in March, for the television chain Telemundo, watched by many hispanics throughout the U.S..
The negative outcry in Peru against freeing these convicted MRTA and Shining Path terrorists led Toledo Manrique to completely reverse himself the next day, when he stated that he would never release any terrorist. It's interesting, that while Toledo Manrique was reported to have met for extended conversations with Berenson’s parents during his US campaign trips in March, after hearing of toledo manrique's reversal, the parents (silent for years) issued a statement saying that they could not trust anybody in the Peruvian government to help their daughter-that President Clinton must step in. Did Toledo Manrique renege on a promise to the Berensons?
Four Latin American nations criticize US intervention
Ecuadorian Minister Heinz Mueller expounded a similar opinion, referring to “the importance of letting the Peruvians decide their own destiny without the necessity of advice or tutorials” Chancellor Fernando de Trazegnies reiterated international law and the UN charter under which no country may interfere in the internal affairs of another saying “If there are those who think differently, that’s their problem.”
Vice Minister Ana Maria Solares of Bolivia stated that her country always “remembers and is respectful of the international principal of non-interference in the internal affairs of another country.”
Toledo Manrique indicates need for U.S./Eurpoean 'assistance'
Mexico has had one-party rule for over seventy years, Chile until recently was under the control of General Pinochet (who is still in the Senate) and Argentina has yet to acknowledge or explain the tens of thousands of “disappeared” citizens.
Majority of Peruvians Favor Fujimori
April 29-Novelist Mario Vargas Llosa, failed candidate for president of Peru in 1990, stated today that the Archbishop of Lima, Juan Luis Cardinal Cipriani, has refused to let the Catholic Church mediate the election only because he (Cipriani) “is one of the pillars of the [Fujimori] dictatorship.”
How strange that in this "dictatorship", all political signs and billboards
from the first election have been removed as required by law, except in
Lima, where one-third of the entire country’s population lives. In
Lima, under Mayor Andrade, all campaign has been removed except
any material referring to either Toledo Manrique or Andrade. Today,
at each of the fifteen busiest intersections in Lima are ten by twenty
five foot billboards touting Toledo Manrique. Nowhere in Lima is
there anything displayed promoting the “dictator”, Fujimori. What kind
of “dictator” can Fujimori be if he supposedly uses fraud to fail
to win an election by a 13,000 vote plurality and can’t send in the armed
forces to take down Toledo Manrique´s propaganda?
Copyright 2000 Richard Petty Deegan & Educate-Yourself.org
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