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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 167-95
March 31, 1995

DOD ESTABLISHES GUATEMALA REVIEW PANEL

Immediately upon learning of the allegations regarding US Defense Department Intelligence organizations' knowledge of, involvement in, or failure to report information on the deaths in Guatemala of Michael DeVine and Efrain Bamaca Velasquez, the Department of Defense directed the prompt identification, protection, and collection of any information relevant to this issue.

Although the allegations are anonymous and, to date, are not corroborated, the Department is committed to a thorough and aggressive examination of all pertinent facts surrounding this issue. To that end the Department of Defense today established a high level Guatemala Review Panel to oversee all aspects of the Department's own inquiries into allegations about DoD activities involving Guatemala. The panel is co-chaired by DoD's Inspector General and General Counsel and will include the Inspector Generals of the National Security Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency, and the Army, as well as the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Oversight and a representative of the Joint Staff.

DoD is and will continue to cooperate fully with all other inquiries being conducted into this matter.

The Guatemala Review Panel will undertake a comprehensive and carefully conducted review of the specific allegations regarding US Army and NSA activities as well as a broad review of any and all other related issues which may be relevant.