u nique European Charm I & Atmosphere Special Low Spring & Summer Rates % i Pets Welcome Pr te 1423 llth Street 410 , .4610′ Port Aransas, TX 78373 i SI call for Rcscrvaiioiis . 4; o re* “ortmot Li k A, o pl Ik. ,….,40. 00 Inn o t Kitchenettes-Cable TV Pool ii, 41\( t e bcsidc the Gulf of Mexico r*. on Mustang Island it Available for private parties 11111. Horse nea ele` ,,,,4 impossible to win, she left her job and traveled to Guatemala. Though she planned to stay for several months, she said,’she did not leave Guatemala until more than a year later, after gathering information and testimony about the repression that was driving Guatemalans out of their country and into the United States. She later returned to Guatemala to write a book, which will be published this year by Common Courage Press in Maine and is tentatively titled The Quetzal Rises. While doing the reporting for her book, Harbury met and fell in love with Bamaca. Later, they married. Santiago Cabrera, one of the two former guerrillas who say they were held in clandestine government prisons, told of seeing Bamaca in a prison “on or about March 12, of 1992” at a military base in southwest Guatemala. Other prisoners held in the prison, according to Cabrera in testimony presented to the United Nations in Geneva, were warned to never mention having seen Bamaca. \(Harbury said Guatemalan military officers frequently tell prisoners that members of their families will become targets if the prisoners that he overheard army intelligence officers saying Bamaca’s capture was to be kept secret. After several months, Cabrera testified, Bamaca was taken from the military base in a helicopter. In July of the same year, according to Cabrera’s testimony, he again saw Bamaca, in another military base “strapped to a table, stripped to his underwear, badly swollen, an aim and leg in bandages … speaking in a very strange voice, as if drugged.” Cabrera has provided the United Nations and the Organization of American States with names of some 30 other former guerrillas he claims to have seen during his 18 months in prison, the names of some of the Guatemalan military officials holding them, and locations of several prisons. He is currently living in exile and in hiding, after having presented his testimony in Geneva. The government denies that any clandestine prisoners exist. In a legal action before the OAS Interamerican Commission for Human Rights, Harbury has filed a petition on behalf of 30 prisoners named by Cabrera, requested a full accounting of all prisoners held by the government and petitioned that the government either file charges against the prisoners and begin judicial proceedings or release them. She also has requested that the Guatemalan government, in its treatment of prisoners, observe the terms established by the Geneva Convention. She has obtained the support of a number of human rights groups and has spoken with members of the U.S. Congress. “If we don’t maintain the pressure on the Guatemalan government, prisoners held in clandestine prisons will be killed and the government will dispose of their bodies,” Harbury said. “We had to conclude that that wasn’t [Bamaca’s] body in the grave,” Harrington said of the May 1992 exhumation. A year after the exhumation, he describes the incident as very frightening. “The attorney general came running through the cemetery, shouting at us and shouting things about us,” said Harrington, who is fluent in Spanish. “We were surrounded by police…when he arrived.” Harrington said he was surprised to learn that the attorney general had actually driven the three-and-a-half hours from Guatemala City, leaving the capital at 4:30 a.m., shortly after Harbury and the American observers did. Harbury said she is awaiting a decision from the Interamerican Commission for Human Rights, which must now decide if it will hold a full-fledged trial in Costa Rica. “That’s the short run,” she said. “In the long run, we have to change U.S. policy. Much of the aid we send to Guatemala is redirected to the military, even though it’s not military aid. If people would write to senators and congressmen, then more of them would be moved to challenge the current policy. “Right now we’re just trying to keep the prisoners alive. Without pressure in the U.S., there’s not much hope.” Harbury will return to Guatemala during the next several months. The government, she said, has promised to exhume the body in the unmarked grave in Retalhuleu. She intends to be present when it occurs. Note: For additional information about the Bamaca case, and other human rights issues in Guatemala, write The Guatemala Project, P.O. Box 650054, Austin, Texas 78765, or This is Texas today. A state full of Sunbelt boosters, strident anti-unionists, oil and gas companies, nuclear weapons and power plants, political hucksters, underpaid workers and toxic wastes, to mention a few. 1 AN% ,, r t .4′ e6 ,,,T =, r ifrii . BUT DO NOT DESPAIR! -Lill TIXAS 44userver TO SUBSCRIBE: Name Address City State Zip $32 enclosed for a one-year subscription. Bill me for $32. 307 West 7th , Austin, TX 78701 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 17
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