Skip to content
Lima syndromeJoe Segen2016-12-08T21:55:06+00:00
A hostage situation in which kidnappers become so concerned for the welfare of their hostages that they free them without using them as bargaining chips.
The Lima syndrome is the diametric opposite of the Stockholm syndrome.
It is named after the Japanese embassy hostage crisis in Lima, Peru from 17 December 1996 to 22 April 1997, when 14 members of the militant Túpac Amaru Revolutionary Movement took several hundred diplomats, government and military officials, and business executives of many countries hostage at a party that took place at the residence of Japan’s ambassador to Peru. Within days, the militants released most of the captives, some of whom would have been valuable in negotiations. Eventually, all remaining hostages were freed in a raid by Peruvian commandos. The Lima syndrome has been variously explained as feelings of guilt, moral indecisiveness, second guessing by kidnappers of their own actions, or obliviousness.
Synonym Reverse Stockholm syndrome