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SPECIAL PROSECUTOR QUITS GUATEMALAN PROBE

The special prosecutor trying to discover the fate of a rebel leader married to an American lawyer has resigned from the investigation, which has been plagued by legal obstacles erected by the military.

In announcing his resignation, Julio Eduardo Arango Escobar said only that numerous death threats he has received did not play a role in his decision to abandon the investigation into what happened to Efrain Bamaca Ve-las-quez.Although Arango did not say why he resigned, those involved in the investigation have become increasingly frustrated by court orders obtained by the military blocking workers from digging up an area where the bodies of Bamaca and others may be buried.

It was not immediately known if judicial authorities would name a new special prosecutor.

There also was no immediate response from Bamaca's wife, Jennifer Harbury, who has led a crusade including hunger strikes to get information on Bamaca.

On Monday, she sued the CIA, alleging that the agency failed for six months to respond to requests for information about her husband.

Bamaca was captured by a Guatemalan army unit in March 1992 and is believed to have been killed. Harbury's suit asks that the CIA be forced to release all the records she has requested.

Harbury also expressed outrage at a summary the CIA released last week on Bamaca's disappearance and the 1990 death of an American innkeeper, Michael Devine.

The summary concluded that no laws were broken and that CIA employees were involved in neither Devine's death nor in the presumed death of Bamaca. Purported witnesses have said that Bamaca was tortured after his capture by a Guatemalan officer on the CIA payroll, Col. Julio Roberto Alpirez.

Harbury called the summary "self-serving" and said, "We're not going to be allowed to see any of the facts leading to those conclusions."