The daughter of President Jose Napoleon Duarte praised the "very high conviction and morale" of El Salvador's guerrillas in an interview with a rebel radio reporter last month just before the leftists freed her from 44 days in captivity.
The guerrillas broadcast the interview today, and chief government spokesman Julio Rey Prendes confirmed that it was genuine. But Rey Prendes also said that Ines Guadalupe Duarte Duran had been forced to say what she did to ensure that the rebels would release her, as planned, in a prisoner exchange. Duarte Duran was out of the country and unavailable for comment.
After his daughter was freed, the president said that she was showing symptoms of what is known as the Stockholm syndrome. This is a tendency of some hostages to sympathize with their captors because of dependency on them and the pressures of confinement. Duarte said that he and his daughter were undergoing psychological treatment because of the strains of the kidnaping.
Duarte Duran said in the radio interview that she had "reflected a lot" during her imprisonment. She expressed the hope that "the thirst for war" would end and that "soon there will be justice for everybody." She related that she was "very afraid" when bombs fell near her while she was in rebel hands during what she called a "horrible" Air Force attack.
Asked if her view of the guerrillas had changed during her imprisonment, Duarte Duran answered, "Yes," and said: "I have seen how they live, the unity that there is among them, the solidarity and, really, from my talks, from what I have seen, they fight with very high conviction and morale."
A reporter for the rebels' Radio Farabundo Marti questioned Duarte Duran at the town of Tenancingo north of here on Oct. 24, moments before she was handed over to a delegation of government representatives and Roman Catholic Archbishop Arturo Rivera y Damas.
Asked at a news conference about the interview, Rey Prendes said: "Before releasing her, the guerrillas obliged her under threat that they would not free her if she didn't make the declarations. You can't expect anything else from someone who has been made prisoner, threatened with death."
The guerrillas freed Duarte's daughter, a woman friend who was kidnaped with her, and 38 mayors and other local officials. In return, the government released 22 captured guerrillas and other political prisoners, and granted safe passage to 96 wounded rebels who were sent abroad for medical treatment.