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Subject: News Item
Date: Wed, 18 Dec 1996 11:17:14 -0500
     Britain Offers Incentive To Peruvian Guerillas

 .c The Associated Press 

    The British Government has offered material incentive for the release of
all hostages held by the Tupac Amaru movement at the Japanese embassy in

    According to a spokesperson for British Prime Minister John Major, the
British Goverment is offering to ship 50 vintage British sports cars to Peru,
for the use of the guerillas. The offer is contingent upon the immediate
release of all hostages and cessation of hostilities against the Peruvian

    Another British source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the
offer was a preemptive move against an imminent similar offer by the
Japanese. Peru's president,  Alberto Fujimori, is of Japanese ancestry and
has close ties with Japan.

    Unnamed sources close to Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto said
the Japanese government was planning to send 25 Mazda Miata convertibles to
Peru, as part of a ransom offer that included cash, home entertainment
equipment, tea cups and geisha girls.

    "We believe that once the Tupac Amaru experience the pleasure of driving
a British sports car, they will relinquish any left-wing revolutionary
ideas," according to the British spokesperson.

    Manufacture of convertible 'roadster' sports cars ceased in Britain in
the 1980s, and the government is apparently scrambling to acquire the 50
autos required for the offer. Most cars of this type made in Britain were
exported to Europe and North America. 

    It is unclear what will happen if Japan does indeed send the Mazda Miata
convertibles as well. The US-based Sports Car Club of America refused to
speculate on the possibility of organizing automobile competitions in Peru.
The likelihood of sports car races pitting Tupac Amaru, Shining Path and
government teams against one another is not unreasonable, given recent events
in the region. Most residents would probably find such competitions
preferable to the armed conflicts which have been endemic to South America
for decades.

      AP-NY-12-18-96 1018EST

Copyright 1996 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news
report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed
without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.   

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