The Miami Herald
Feb. 17, 2003

Guatemalan government admits responsibily for 1990 slaying of human rights leader

  From Herald Wire Services

  GUATEMALA CITY - Guatemala's foreign minister said Sunday the government has admitted to an international tribunal that it was responsible for the 1990 slaying of human rights leader Myrna Mack.

  Edgar Gutiérrez said Guatemala sent a letter to the Costa Rica-based Inter-American Court of Human Rights acknowledging its ''institutional responsibility'' in the killing.

  Mack was stabbed 27 times outside her downtown Guatemala City office on Sept. 11, 1990. The 39-year-old anthropologist allegedly angered the military when she authored a report blaming state anti-insurgency campaigns for killing Maya Indians during the country's 1960-1996 civil war.

  Gutiérrez said the government decided to admit wrongdoing after Mack's sister Helen filed a criminal complaint with the human rights court charging that the Guatemalan government conspired to kill and then cover up its role in her sister's slaying. Court judges are expected to rule on it Tuesday.