Negotiations by El Salvador's new ruling Junta, for the release of fifteen hundred hostages, held by the leftists, remained deadlocked on Monday (29 October).
Negotiations by El Salvador's new ruling Junta, for the release of fifteen hundred hostages, held by the leftists, remained deadlocked on Monday (29 October). The hostages have been held for five days in two government buildings, in open defiance to the new ruling junta, which was set up after right-wing President Carlos Humberto Romero was overthrown earlier this month. Meanwhile the Junta has made an offer of general amnesty to all exiles. The first political exile to return to San Salvador was Christian Democrat leader Jose Napoleon Duarte.
SYNOPSIS: Mr. Duarte was forced into exile in Venezuela eight years ago when a coup aimed at toppling President Fidel Sanchez Hernandez failed.
Mr. Duarte's party has announced its support for the new ruling junta, saying that a new chapter in El Salvador's history has begun.
A huge crowd was on hand to welcome the Christian Democrat party's leader. Most of the leftist groups in the country have pledged support for the junta, except the Marxist group the Popular Revolutionary Bloc (BPR). While thousands of people marched peacefully to demonstrate support for the junta on Wednesday (24 October), the BPR seized two government Ministries and fifteen hundred hostages, including the Labour and Economy Ministers.
The BPR are demanding information on political detainees, wage increases and a freeze on prices. The new government has called for the release of the hostages, as a condition for negotiation.
More than fifty people have died in a wave of violence since General Romero's overthrow.
The Junta has promised free elections later, to and fifty years of military rule.