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Guatemalan Prosecutor to Travel to Meeting With Torricelli

May 6, 1995

GUATEMALA CITY (AP) _ A prosecutor probing the death of a rebel commander married to an American lawyer says he will meet Sunday with the U.S. congressman who claims an army colonel ordered the killing.

Leonel Machuca said he will travel to the United States to meet Rep. Robert Torricelli, D-N.J., who accuses Col. Julio Roberto Alpirez of participating, while on the CIA payroll, in the 1992 death of guerrilla leader Efrain Bamaca.

The military contends Bamaca was killed in combat.

Machuca also plans to interview Santiago Cabrera, a rebel who escaped military custody and testified before the U.N. Human Rights Commission that he saw Alpirez and other military officials torture Bamaca in the San Marcos military base in 1992. Cabrera is living in the United States.

Torricelli’s accusations led President Clinton to order an investigation of CIA activity in Guatemala and to order a suspension of most CIA funding there.

The congressman also claimed that Alpirez was involved in the 1990 killing of American innkeeper Michael Devine.

Machuca is appealing a military tribunal’s decision to declare Alpirez innocent and close the Bamaca case due to lack of evidence. The courts are expected to rule on the appeal next week.

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