Peru. In late 1996, the members of the Tupac Amaru
Movement (MRTA) arrested were punished by a military court
in early 1996. According to
Countryaah.com, four of them were sentenced to life
imprisonment for planning to occupy the congress building
and take congressmen hostage. One of the four was
26-year-old American citizen Lori Helene Berenson. From the
US Department of Foreign Affairs, they questioned whether
she would receive a fair trial, and so did several human
rights organizations. Later in the year, Congress passed a
law that made it possible to review cases where people could
have been wrongly convicted under the stringent
After the military was accused on several occasions of
having its own financial interests in the drug trade, in
January the responsibility for the fight against drugs was
transferred to the police. The fight intensified when
President Fujimori in April declared a state of emergency in
the coca-producing areas.
In February, Congress passed a law on the sale of state
oil companies. The law was fully in line with President
Fujimori's privatization program, which aims to reduce the
public sector deficit. In April, Prime Minister Córdova
resigned, who did not accept the measures planned to reduce
the country's trade deficit. A new government was formed
under the leadership of Alberto Pandolfi.
In March, the Andean Group, with Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador,
Venezuela and Colombia as members, was transformed into the
Andean Community (Comunidad Andina), which is tasked with
strengthening regional integration.
In connection with the celebration of the Japanese
emperor's birthday in Lima in December, the Japanese embassy
was occupied by some 20 members of the Tupac Amaru
guerrilla. Their hostage initially amounted to several
hundred prominent guests.
As the year drew to a close, 103 people were still held
captive, and the guerrilla's demand to have 400 of their
imprisoned followers released remained unchanged.