DEA knew about CIA murders in Guatemala Associated Press 07-23-96 By PAULINE ARRILLAGA= As

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DEA knew about CIA murders in Guatemala Associated Press 07-23-96 By PAULINE ARRILLAGA= Associated Press Writer= HARLINGEN, Texas (AP) The Drug Enforcement Administration knew about and helped cover up the CIA's involvement in Guatemala's drug war murders, a former DEA agent said Tuesday. The DEA denied the allegations. Celerino Castillo said he and other DEA agents were aware of specific murders committed by the Guatemala military with CIA involvement and were ordered to lie to keep the crimes secret. Castillo said a panel appointed by President Clinton to look into U.S. involvement in Guatemala focused on the CIA and overlooked the DEA. The panel concluded last month that the CIA took part in tortures and murders in 1984. ``My point is don't only investigate the CIA, investigate the DEA. We worked with the same people,'' Castillo, who was a DEA special agent based in Guatemala in 1985-90. Castillo said DEA agents didn't participate in any abuses, but ``we knew that there were going to be atrocities occurring in those operations.'' Van Quarles, a DEA spokesman in Washington, said Tuesday: ``These allegations have been analyzed, and we haven't found anything to validate the charges that he's made.'' Last month, the Intelligence Oversight Board issued a report stating that several CIA agents in Guatemala ``were credibly alleged'' to have ordered, planned or participated in human rights violations such as murder, torture and kidnapping. Castillo, who retired from the DEA in 1992 and lives in McAllen, Texas, said he participated in several missions in which the Guatemalan Military Intelligence killed civilians with the knowledge of DEA and CIA agents. He said he was ordered by his superiors not to reveal the truth about the missions and that some agents were forced to lie in case reports to cover up the murders. He said the murders were kept quiet because the agencies wanted to continue working with the military against the drug trade.


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