September 15, 1998
Former Guatemalan guerrilla leader dead at 67

                  GUATEMALA CITY (AP) -- Ricardo Arnoldo Ramirez de Leon, a former
                  leftist guerrilla commander who signed peace accords with the Guatemalan
                  government in 1996, has died. He was 67.

                  Ramirez, who was widely known by his nom de guerre, Rolando Moran,
                  suffered a fatal heart attack Friday in Guatemala City, said Jorge Ismael
                  Soto, a former guerrilla commander. He had been hospitalized since
                  Wednesday with heart problems.

                  Ramirez had been a top commander in the Guatemalan National
                  Revolutionary Unit. He commanded a rebel section known as the Guerrilla
                  Army of the Poor.

                  After the 36-year civil war ended in 1996, he became secretary-general of a
                  committee charged with organizing a new leftist party that is expected to
                  participate in 1999 presidential elections.

                  U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who met Ramirez during a July visit to
                  Guatemala, expressed sadness over his death.

                  Annan said he had been "encouraged by his deep commitment to the peace

                  Ramirez's family also received condolences from Guatemalan President
                  Alvaro Arzu, Cuban leader Fidel Castro and Nicaragua's Sandinista leader,
                  Daniel Ortega.

                  Ramirez is survived by his wife and three sons.

                  Copyright 1998   The Associated Press