Peruvian Miners Who Dug Rescue Tunnels Missing

Arm The Spirit (ats@locust.etext.org)
Mon, 12 May 1997 14:15:38 -0500


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Peruvian Miners Who Dug Rescue Tunnels Missing

Associated Press, 05/05/97

LIMA, Peru (AP) - Twenty-four miners who dug tunnels for Peruvian commandos under the Japanese ambassador's mansion have yet to return home - two weeks after the end of the hostage crisis - their union said Monday. The union sent a letter to the government-owned Centromin mining company, which hired the miners and engineers, asking the firm to say where the men are and to let them return to their families, local radio reported. Media reports that two of the miners were either killed while building the tunnels and the secretive nature of the operation has led family members to fear for their safety, Radioprogramas reported. Centromin would not comment on the miners' whereabouts. The miners spent several weeks building a network of tunnels under the diplomatic compound where leftist rebels were holding 72 hostages. The military used the tunnels - complete with electricity, ventilation and a telecommunications system - to stage a rescue on April 22. One hostage and two soldiers died in the raid. The 14 Tupac Amaru rebels who seized the hostages during a Dec. 17 party also were killed. The union said the company had started recruiting miners for the job on Jan. 5, offering to pay them $2,000 each. So far the miners' families each have only received $1,000, it said.

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