A Harvard Law School graduate whose husband, a Guatemalan guerrilla leader, was abducted in March 1992 has published a book about her ordeal.
In Searching for Everardo: A Story of Love, War and the CIA in Guatemala, Jennifer K. Harbury, who graduated from the law school in 1978, writes about her struggle to find Efrain Bamaca "Everardo" Velasquez.
Jose Pertierra, one of Harbury's lawyers, said his client's struggle to find Everardo has drawn enormous attention to human-rights abuses in Guatemala.
In an interview, Pertierra said "150,000 people have been killed in Guatemala in the past 30 years but the only thing people in the U.S. knew was that volcanoes and Indians were there."
"Harbury put Guatemala on the map and focused the debate on prisoners of war," he added.
The book is targeted to "people who are interested in serious non-fiction," said Ida Veltri, a publicity manager at Warner Books, Harbury's publisher.
Harbury will appear on the Charlie Rose show on PBS and will appear at bookstores in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington and New York on a publicity tour.
Harbury met Everardo in Guatemala while investigating human-rights abuses there; the two were married in Austin, Tex., in September 1991.
At the time Everardo was the highest-ranking member of the military wing of the URNG, the United Front of Guatemalan Guerrillas, a Mayan rebel group.
Everardo disappeared on March 12, 1992 after the group of rebels he was leading was attacked by a Guatemalan army patrol. The Guatemalan army maintained that Everardo committed suicide to evade capture, but Harbury believed her husband was alive and being held in a clandestine torture center.
Harbury's claims were strengthened after another guerrilla, Santiago "Carlos" Lopez, claimed he saw Everardo alive.
To attract attention to Everardo's disappearance, Harbury staged a 32-day hunger strike in Guatemala City in October 1994. The hunger strike drew world-wide attention to human-rights abuses in Guatemala.
In April 1995, President Clinton ordered an investigation into the Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA) role in Everardo's murder. The inquiry was started after Rep. Robert G. Torricelli (D-N.J.), now a U.S. senator, released documents suggesting Everardo had been murdered by a Guatemalan general on the CIA's payroll and that agency officials attempted to cover up the death.
"The U.S. knew Everardo had been captured and where he was and what information he was providing the Guatemalan army a few days after his capture," Pertierra said. "The U.S. claimed it had no knowledge about Everardo until
"Harbury's case has forced the CIA's hand in Guatemala and the agency has punished several CIA people in charge of Guatemala," Pertierra said.