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Salvadoran Government-Rebel Commission Meets Today in Caracas

October 21, 1987

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) _ Salvadoran rebel and government representatives agreed to hold talks today in Venezuela on how to meet a Nov. 7 deadline for a cease-fire, sources said.

The archbishop of San Salvador, Monsignor Arturo Rivera Damas, was to moderate the closed meeting of the cease-fire commission, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Leftist guerrillas have been fighting to topple the U.S.-backed government of El Salvador in an 8-year war that has killed nearly 65,000 people, most of them civilians.

The deadline for the cease-fire was set in a regional peace plan signed by five Central American presidents Aug. 7. The plan calls for truces in the wars in Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala; democratic reforms; amnesties; and an end to aid to rebel forces.

Salvadoran rebels and government representatives, in their first talks in nearly three years, agreed this month to create a cease-fire commission and form another panel to focus on other aspects of the peace plan.

Both commissions are to present reports to Rivera Damas by Nov. 4.

Government representatives to the Caracas meeting will be former Foreign Minister Fidel Chavez Mena; Julio Adolfo Rey Prendes, a spokesman for President Jose Napoleon Duarte; Gen. Rinaldo Golcher, director of the Treasury Police; and Col. Leopoldo Hernandez, armed forces assistant chief of staff, the sources said.

Representing the rebels will be commanders Jorge Melendez and Leo Cabral of the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front, the organization of five guerrilla groups; and Eduardo Calles and Jorge Villacorta of the Democratic Revolutionary Front, the rebel political organization, they said.

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