Five people entered the fifth day of a hunger strike yesterday at the offices of the United Nations Economic Commission on Latin America at 18th and K streets NW.
A priest, a nun, and three members of a local activist group, the Community for Creative Non-Violence, entered the U.N. office and began the fast last Friday morning.
David Pollock, manager of the u.N. ECLA office here, said the five are fasting to show support for the demands of 26 Chileans who have been on a hunger strike since June 14 in a U.N. office in Santiago, Chile.
The Chileans are demanding that an international committee investigate the disappearance of several hundred missing persons in Chile, and that the Chilean military junta announce the status of the missing persons.
Negotiations under way between U.N. officials and representatives of the Chilean government may bring an end to the hunger strike in Santiago at any time, said U.N. spokesman Marcial Tamayo.
Those holding the hunger strike here are Peter Hinde, 54, a Carmelite priest who works at Tabor House a Catholic hospitality house in Northwest Washington, Betty Campbell, a nun who also works at Tabor House and John Shiel, 55, Scott Wright, 27, and Lee Miller, 27. Shiel, Wright and Miller live at tha Community for Creative Non-Violence headquarters at 1335 N St. NW. Heinde and Campbell are former Catholic missionaries in Latin America.
The ECLA office has been locked and closed to normal business since the strikers entered the building last week. Pollock said, and a special security guard is stationed in front of ECLA's 12th floor office at 1801 K St. NW.
"We are giving these people the same treatment that the U.N. is giving the Chileans with their hunger strike," Pollock said. "There is a U.N. doctor here taking care of them and we are looking out for their needs."
United Nations officials have requested the strikers not to communicate directly with their friends or the public "since the premises of the United Nations are not the place from which they should be conducting their business," said Erik Suy, legal counsel to the United Nations.
"When they leave the U.N. premises they can say whatever they wish."
Pollock said all the strikers are in good health and that the atmosphere between the seven U.N. staff workers and the five strikers, "is very congenial."