April 12, 2000

Guatemala to offer Spanish court information on killings

                   GUATEMALA CITY (AP) -- Guatemala's human rights prosecutor
                   said Wednesday he will provide a Spanish court with all the information he
                   has collected during investigations into massacres detailed in a criminal
                   complaint filed by Nobel Peace Prize winner Rigoberta Menchu.

                   Spain's National Court announced late last month it is investigating a lawsuit
                   brought by the 1992 Nobel Laureate charging eight former Guatemalan leaders
                   with serious human rights violations.

                   The criminal complaint looks to try the leaders -- three of whom are former
                   heads of state -- for their roles in the 1980 arson of the Spanish Embassy in
                   Guatemala City; the slaying of four Spanish priests in western Guatemala; and
                   the deaths of most of Menchu's own family.

                   The prosecutor's office will do anything it can to make that investigation go
                   smoothly, Julio Arango, Guatemala's prosecutor for human rights, said
                   Wednesday night.

                   In a prepared statement, the Guatemala City-based Rigoberta Menchu Foundation
                   said it "recognizes the efforts of the human rights prosecutor and his search for
                   international justice."

                   Though it was encouraged by Arango's forthcoming cooperation with the
                   Spanish court, the group concluded that, "it is still not possible for Guatemala's
                   courts to even aspire to try these genocide cases."