Bombs Exploded, Radio Station Seized to Protest Peru's Elections
Mar. 19, 1985
LIMA, Peru (AP) _ Terrorists attacked the home of Peru's labor minister with submachine guns and bombs Monday night and briefly seized a Lima radio station to broadcast a message opposing next month's elections, police said.
Four men and a woman who overpowered employees of radio station Inca on Monday night identified themselves as members of the pro-Cuba and pro- Nicaragua Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement, police said.
Police said they suspected, but were not certain, the same urban guerrilla organization was responsible for spraying the home of Labor Minister Joaquin Leguia with bullets and blasting his garage doors with a bomb about 30 minutes later. Leguia and his family were at home, but were not hurt in the attack.
Terrorists also set off a bomb about the same time near the home of Transport Minister Francisco Aramayo, causing minor damage but no injuries, police said.
This is the third week of a nationwide strike by 350,000 government workers. The attacks on government ministers came a few hours after President Fernando Belaunde Terry appealed for the state employees to return to work and not disrupt the campaign for April 14 elections to choose his successor.
Belaunde said his economically-strapped government could not meet the employees' wage demands to match the country's 230 percent inflation rate.
In a taped message at the radio station, the terrorist squad called the general elections a fraud on the Peruvian people and said the policies of the Belaunde administration were a failure.
The anti-government movement, which takes its name from Peru's last Inca chief, made a similar bullet and bomb attack one year ago on the home of ex- finance minister Carlos Rodriguez Pastor. He was was unhurt but resigned from the government a few days later.
The Civil Guard noted that in the attack on the labor minister's home the four gunmen making the assault did not fire on a guard outside the house.
They said this appeared to fit propaganda from the Tupac Amaru Organization, that they have taken no lives, as compared with Peru's Maoist- oriented guerrilla movement, Shining Path. The Maoists, blamed for four years of violence that has taken more than 4,000 lives, also oppose the elections and have promised to disrupt them.
Reports from the Andean state capital of Ayacucho in south central Peru said the Shining Path rebels suffered 68 killed at the hands of police and armed forces units over the weekend.