During Bamaca’s incarceration at Military Zone 18, [name redacted] stated that [name redacted] visited Military Zone 18 an unusual number of times, presumably to coordinate with those conducting the interrogations of Bamaca. [Name redacted] comment: [two lines redacted] that Bamaca was not a cooperative prisoner and did attempt to escape, thereby forcing the army to incapacitate him through the use of a full body cast. he routing on the report is also redacted, so it cannot be de termined which U.S. government agencies received it. How ever, at the end of the report is a comment written by U.S. embassy personnel. “We have no information to suggest that other former guerrillas have recently been killed by the army or that such a decision has been made by the high command,” the report’s author concluded. The comment was followed by the note from the embassy, indicating that the report, filled with information about Bamaca, had been seen by embassy staff. “Precisely to preclude this possibility, the Ambassador raised this issue of deserters’ protection with President de Leon on November 11,” was the embassy comment added to the report. The report indicates that while Ambassador McAffee was apparently working to improve the human rights situation in Guatemala, she was also withholding information from Harbury. \(Another memo, dated November, 1994, demonstrates that the embassy knew the extent of military control of Guatemala’s civilian government. The memo provides Ambassador McAffee with human rights talking points to present to President de Leon, then urges her not to say them aloud in the President’s office, but instead to write them on a sheet of Harbury continues to ask why Ambassador McAffee told her she had no further information on Bamaca, while this memo and others were being routed through the embassy, and while Harbury was in front of the National Palace, risking her life in a hunger strike. She wants to know whose names were redacted from the memos. And, she says, she has testimony from three sources that place Americans in torture chambers and on helicopters in Guatemala. In various kidnap and torture cases in Guatemala most recently the case of Diana Ortiz, the American nun who was kidnapped, raped, and tortured in Guatemala in 1989 there are either eyewitness accounts of Americans entering the torture chambers, or blindfolded victims’ claims of hearing at least one voice speaking with an American accent. Such claims are generally impossible to corroborate. Harbury believes the trial in Costa Rica will provide sworn testimony, and perhaps documents, indicating that Americans were at the very least involved in the transportation of her husband from a prison at the Santa Ana Berlin Military Base to a clandestine prison in Guatemala City. She has affidavits and videotaped testimony of one Guatemalan army officer and two former guerrillas who escaped from the army’s custody, which support those claims. She knows the C.I.A. paid Roberto Alpirez $44,000, in the same month that the testimony of one witness places him in the military hospital where Efrain Bamaca was last seen, chained to a bed and swollen, and connected to a gas bottle, while Alpirez interrogated him. And she knows that the Intelligence Oversight Board appointed by President Clinton reported that two C.I.A. assets were involved in the torture and death of Efrain Bamaca. or :cAtcos,# ?NO otua haceolos WZO Ttstrz’zim Ift,Oft orrztts 42PORTZ4LY iozzvv20 TavActmours 27ft UM litetrziiiiCifiS.Coe473STOR ZR MA.RL’zi 993 Anon, , 7:tzsze cis’ Czazt Rol’ Ters, -7 uz-rAcA Ator.. r4mTazz.nczi Parsov&its halo, PRropt To Tatra ZZCAPr ntalf Oft %/z. coprzta zzull Zira A24.ZOATONt. orrzczas TRAT .5ANtAcA 6AS ALV/Z, A4T4Ot’OR 02″&eltS 02TZ OF Paragraph from a CIA memo. The Guatemalan Army had first reported Bamaca killed in action. CIA 000308 In Costa Rica, Harbury said she will present evidence and testimony of two witnesses who have information about a clandestine Guatemalan army intelligence division death squad, known as “Comando.” Two members of the group were on the helicopter that flew Efrain Bamaca from the Santa Ana Berlin military base to another clandestine prison in Guatemala City, reportedly with an American also on the helicopter. One source said in an affidavit that the death squad regularly checked in “with Uncle Sam” at a building a few blocks from the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala City. It is only when you put the pieces together, Harbury said, that the story of what happened to Efrain Bamaca begins to make sense. The Department of State, she argued, had no interest in lying to Congress, unless it was aware of what the C.I.A. was doing in Guatemala. And in all the material that she has received in response to her FOIA requests, she has discovered a large gap in 1992, when Bamaca was detained and executed. “They were guilty,” she said. “First they could say that they had some bad assets and were just buying information from them. Now, it looks like there was a gringo standing in the door while the torture was going on.” Some evidence of an unraveling cover-up is now available, for example, in memos that refer to New Mexico Congressman Bill Richardson’s anger at being kept in the dark by the State Department while pressuring the Guatemalan government on Harbury’s behalf. “Richardson feels he was made to look foolish by negotiating with Jennifer and being so tough on the Guatemalans when we were at fault,” one State Department memo reads. Another talking-point memo provides a response for reporters who will ask: “Did you have info. he [Bamaca] was thrown out of a helicopter?” The suggested response is: “No, that is not the case.” The truth, Harbury said, lies in the files of the State Department and the C.I.A., and in the testimony of American and Guatemalan officials. She is resolved to find it. The civil suit in Washington could go on for years, as preliminary issues are heard by the Supreme Court. But two months from now, in San Jose, Costa Rica, Harbury intends to swear in witnesses and put them on the stand. “The peace accords have been signed,” she said. “And there was never a national security interest that allowed a government to cover up murder.” APRIL 10, 1998 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 7
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