Clinton Orders Probe Of Guatemalan Murder

Law School Grad's Protests Spur Action

Last Friday, President Clinton launched an investigation into the role employees of the central Intelligence Agency (CIA) played in the murder of Law School graduate Jennifer K. Harbury's husband, Guatemalan rebel leader Enfrain "Everado" Velasquez.

Clinton ordered the investigation after Rep. Robert G. Torricelli (D-N.J.) received an anonymous letter last Tuesday from an informant in the National Security Agency. The letter alleged that U.S. intelligence officials were covering up their involvement in the Harbury case.

Two weeks ago, Torricelli charged that Guatemalan Colonel Julio Roberto Alpirez, who was a paid informant of the CIA, ordered the murder of Harbury's husband as well as an American citizen.

In a letter to Clinton obtained by The Crimson, Torricelli stated that the CIA's alleged complicity in the Harbury case was a sign that the agency was "out of control."

CIA director Admiral William O. Studeman has denied Torricelli's allegations, calling them "false and utterly irresponsible."

Harbury, who graduated from the Law School in 1978, staged a 32-day hunger strike in Guatemala City to call attention to her husband's disappearance.

Velasquez has not been seen since March 12,1992 when the group of rebels he was leadingencountered a Guatemalan army patrol. TheGuatemalan government has maintained thatVelasquez committed suicide to avoid capture.

Harbury rejected the official report andcharged that the Guatemalan government was holdingher husband captive in a clandestine torturecenter.

The Guatemalan government exhumed two graves toprove Velasquez committed suicide, but Harbury'sforensic efforts determined that neither thecorpse was the rebel leader's remains.

The State Department and National SecurityCouncil have repeatedly assured Harbury that everyeffort was made to investigate her husband's case.

Last November, Harbury met with NationalSecurity Advisor Anthony Lake '61 to discussVelasquez's disappearance.

Henry A. Harbury, Jennifer Harbury's father,said his daughter is pleased with Clinton's latestaction. "She believes [the investigation] is anappropriate step and she supports the President'sdirective," he said.

Harbury said that his daughter will testify onWednesday before the Senate Intelligence Committeeabout her husband's case.

Henry Harbury said that Torricelli was promptedto release information about Velasquez's murderafter his daughter staged a 12-day hunger strikein Lafayette Park, in front of the White House.Harbury's second hunger strike ended on March 23,1995.

The White House made three attempts to gatherinformation from the CIA and other U.S.intelligence agencies before finally learning ofVelasquez's fate, according to those familiar withthe case.

The CIA's reluctance to hand over key documentshas not diminished Clinton's faith in the agency,White House Press Secretary Mike McCurry said.

"We have no reason to doubt that [the CIA has]been anything less than forthcoming," McCurrysaid. "We are not satisfied with the informationwe have at this point and that's because we don'thave all the answers we would like to convey toHarbury," he said. "We'd like to tell her a lotmore about the status of her husband's remains andthe circumstances of his death."

President Clinton has threatened to fire anyU.S. intelligence officials who were involved in acover up or who withheld information ofVelasquez's fate.

The Associated Press contributed to thereporting of this story.