Foreign ministers of the Western Hemisphere met in Washington today to discuss--among other items--the waves of kidnappings of diplomats that has hit some Latin American countries.
Pan American Union Building, here the conference is taking place; workmen removing slogans, slogans papered over; delegates arriving, talking, seated at table.
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Background: Foreign ministers of the Western Hemisphere met in Washington today to discuss--among other items--the waves of kidnappings of diplomats that has hit some Latin American countries.
The organization of American States, in its two-week meeting, is holding its first general assembly under a new charter, revised last winter to give association an administrative structure similar to that of the United Nations.
The meeting had originally been planned for the Dominican Republic, but it was removed to Washington because of unrest in Santo Domingo.
Moving it away from Santo Domingo did not entirely remove the meeting from attack by leftist militants. The meeting place, the Pan American Union Building, nor far from the White House, was painted during the night with political slogans. Workmen got started early scrubbing the paint off. Slogans that could not be removed immediately were covered with large sheets of paper.
The delegates have a 14-point agenda, but nothing has sparked much interest except no. 13: Political terrorism and diplomatic kidnappings.
That was a last-minute addition to the agenda after Argentina and Uruguay suggested no political asylum be granted to political prisoners freed as ransom for kidnapped officials or diplomats.
Eleven government officials and diplomats have been kidnapped by terrorists in Latin America over the past two years.
Fernando Enima Tio, foreign minister of the Dominican Republic, was unanimously elected to preside over the sessions.