DEA knew about CIA murders in Guatemala
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
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
``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
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