Spanish version

HISTORY

Letter seeks to clear soldier of guilt in massacre

Evidelio Quiel claims he was innocent of the murders.

Spanish version

Temas:

Relatives of soldiers killed on Oct. 3 1989, during a coup attempt against Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega branded as "lies" the statements made by the former Captain Evidelio Quiel, who in a letter made public Monday said that the soldiers of the Macho de Monte company were responsible for the massacre.

Susana Ortega, daughter of the murdered Captain Ismael Ortega, said that the statements of Quiel, 27 years after the crimes, do not make any sense, and that she has information that Noriega was present when the coup leaders were killed in the hangars at Albrook Field.

During a religious service held Monday in the Church of Lourdes, in Carrasquilla, Ortega said if Quiel wants to clarify the facts, he must appear in person before the authorities and give all the information that he has about Noriega's role in the execution of 11 officers killed in the wake of the coup.

In the letter he sent to Gen. Noriega in El Renacer prison, which he refused to receive, Quiel argues that Noriega relieved him of surveillance of the coup leaders and that put them under the supervision of the Macho de Monte, directed by Gonzalo González, and that these were people who shot at them.

In the letter, he said Noriega should clarify what was the role of the defense forces officer who repeated the order against the coup leaders.

Quiel, together with Asuncion Eliecer Gaitan and Gonzalo Gonzalez, were condemned to 20 years in prison for their roles in the massacre.

Gonzalez was pardoned during the administration of Ernesto Perez Balladares, Quiel and Gaitan are fugitives from justice.

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