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New Prosecutors Named To Investigate CIA-Paid Colonel

May 9, 1995

GUATEMALA CITY (AP) _ The attorney general has appointed two new investigators to look into the killings of a U.S. innkeeper and a guerrilla leader married to an American.

Julio Arrango Escobar and Leopoldo Mejia Coc were named Monday to investigate the deaths, which U.S. Rep. Robert Torricelli, D-N.J., has claimed were ordered by a Guatemalan army colonel on the CIA payroll.

The investigators replace lawyer Leonel Machuca, whom Attorney General Ramses Cuestas took off the cases after he failed to appeal a military court ruling closing the guerrilla leader’s case.

Witnesses say the guerrilla commander, Efrain Bamaca Velasquez, was tortured and killed by the army in March 1992. The military has said Bamaca apparently died in combat.

American innkeeper Michael DeVine was murdered in June 1990.

The army colonel linked to the CIA, Julio Roberto Alpirez, denies involvement in either death. He was suspended by the army last month.

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