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Senators to Meet With Guatemala’s President

May 27, 1995

GUATEMALA CITY (AP) _ Two U.S. senators met with President Ramiro de Leon Carpio on Friday to discuss the deaths of an American innkeeper and a Guatemalan rebel who was the husband of an American lawyer.

Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, and Sen. Michael DeWine, R-Ohio, were investigating the deaths of American innkeeper Michael Devine and Efrain Bamaca, a guerrilla and husband of American lawyer Jennifer Harbury.

Harbury’s well-publicized hunger strikes focused the Clinton administration’s attention on the case of her missing husband.

Relations between Guatemala and the United States recently cooled after Rep. Robert Torricelli, D-N.J., accused an army colonel on the CIA payroll of taking part in the deaths.

In addition to implicating Col. Julio Roberto Alpirez, Torricelli accused the CIA and the CIA station chief in Guatemala of withholding vital information in the cases.

Carol Devine, widow of Michael Devine, met with chief prosecutor Ramses Cuestas Gomez on Friday.

``I thought it necessary to talk to Mrs. Devine to seek her collaboration in the investigation, which we are carrying out on the possible participation of other (military) officials involved in the death of Michael Devine,″ Cuestas Gomez said.

Five soldiers _ and an army captain who is a fugitive _ were sentenced for the innkeeper’s June 1990 murder.

Francisco Solbal Santay, who received a 30-year prison term in the case, recently told The Associated Press that Devine was killed on the orders of Col. Mario Garcia Catalan, commander of the Santa Elena military base.

Alpirez and Garcia have been suspended from active military duty.

Torricelli also accused Alpirez of involvement in the 1992 death of Bamaca. The military insists that Bamaca died in combat in northwestern Guatemala.

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