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41 Seconds to Freedom: An Insider#s Account…

41 Seconds to Freedom: An Insider#s Account of the Lima Hostage Crisis,…

by Luis Giampietri

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B (1) b 22 (1) history (1) Latin America (1) Peru (1) politics (1) terrorism (1)



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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0891419071, Hardcover)

On December 18, 1997, more than six hundred VIPs were attending the birthday party of the Japanese ambassador to Peru at his elegant residence. Political figures, business leaders, and socialites mingled in a tented pavilion on expansive grounds. Then, without warning, fourteen masked, heavily armed figures burst in.

Members of the Túpac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA), a deadly Cuban-influenced band of insurgents, the terrorists demanded the release of four hundred of their comrades from prison–or they would kill all the hostages. The event inspired a media frenzy–especially when Peru’s president, Alberto Fujimori, refused to negotiate.

What the public didn’t know was that Fujimori had immediately begun planning a military assault–with the help of one particular party guest. Luis Giampietri had been a field commander of special operation forces that had fought terrorists, including the MRTA. His quick suppression of a prison mutiny by Shining Path revolutionaries had made him a feared enemy. Now, dismissed by his captors as a harmless retiree, he became a crucial component of a complex commando rescue operation.

41 Seconds to Freedom is Giampietri’s inside account of the unnerving ordeal and its resolution through heroism and sheer audacity. Here he tells how he used his pager to reveal to the commandos outside the terrorists’ positions, habits, and tactics; how one young female terrorist became infatuated with a Japanese hostage–with fateful consequences; how a Red Cross employee was discovered to be in league with the MRTA; and how the rescue took all of 41 seconds from start to finish.

But Giampietri’s story doesn’t end when the crisis did. The corruption inquiry after President Fujimori’s subsequent fall from power cast doubt on the entire operation, painting liberators as executioners and making Giampietri feel “forever a hostage.”

As riveting as any fictional thriller, and by turns encouraging and cautionary, 41 Seconds to Freedom is an invaluable account of one of the most dramatic terrorist hostage takings in history.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:51 -0400)

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