Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Searching for Everardo : A Story of Love, War, and the CIA in Guatemala

That is Jeniffer Harbury and Everardo.You think they are an Unlikely pair??.Yes, even Jeniffer accepts that in her book "Searching for Everardo : A Story of Love, War, and the CIA in Guatemala".True story of Jennifer harbury's efforts to find her lost husband.

She goes on to say how there childhood and life style were a mathematical inverse till they met each other.Jennifer was a connecticut born prep school daughter of an yale professor.she finished law and became a civil right's lawyer, On the other hand Efrain Bamaca Velasquez also know as comandante Everardo was born into a guatemalan peasent family.He lost his mother at an early age, had to bear with the discrimination of his step mother,had to work in the plantations till he joined the resistance. Jennifer Meets Everardo in the guatemalan volcanoes in 1990 ,when she was writing her other book the "Bridge of courage".Everardo is a commander by then.

Knowing that Jennifer likes him,Everardo expresses his love for her.When Jennifer leaves the mountains after her one month stay expires, They exchange mails.when everardo comes to mexico for peace talks, she also goes there and the relationship develops. There relationship ends up in marriage in her texas house in 1991 .Jennifer leaves everardo to attend to her dieing friend in New Hampshire and everardo goes to the jungles again. After a few weeks she gets the message that there was an ambush and everardo just disappeared after the ambush, nobody knew what happened to him.

First jennifer starts searching for everardo without letting the military know that she is his wife. She ask's the guatemalan govt for exhumation.Which is to remove unidentified bodies from the grave to identify. But she never gets the permission from the govt.When she almost gives up on everardo ,a rebel member who was captured, escapes the prison to tell her that he saw everardo alive in the prison.

After many failed attempts she goes public saying that she is his wife and starts asking about everardo.The army says that he was killed in that ambush.She asks persmission for exhumation and goes through the painful process of trying to identify her husband in half decayed bodies.

It is late 1993 and Jennifer still does not know whether everardo, who went missing in early 1992 is alive or not. So she decides to confront the goverment with a fast.The fast to confront the government was unthinkable at that time in guatemala.She goes on fast for 7 days and gets the needed media attention for her case.

But nothing happens and another year goes buy.This time she goes on an indefinite fast in guatemala. Drawing huge media attention.Mike wallace of 60 minutes tells Jennifer that a reliable source in CIA told him that everardo was captured alive.

After 30 days Jennifer's health deteriorates, and the military waits to take her away in the pretext of hospitalization. Knowing the fact that getting out of the country would be hard if she gets hospitalized. Jennifer ends her fast and returns to washington dc.Jennifer meets lot of senators and human rights group for her cause.The govt oficially announces that everardo was captured alive and they don’t know anything else.

when Jennifer presses for more information and files regarding everardo, the US government becomes unresponsive and uses delaying tactics.So jennifer goes on a fast again, this time in Washington DC and it is march 1995.On her 10th day of fasting she gets call from senator torcelli who explains her that he got information from various source that Everardo was captured alive and was killed in 1992 on the orders of
col.julio roberto alpirez who was a paid asset of CIA, ending her search for everardo.

A very intresting book.It is never dull ,it is kind of an indian masala movie.It's got love, women sentiments, villans and violence. The first 100 pages of the book is all love.Jennifer expresses her love in a subtle and poetic way.I felt the romanctic gazes of Barbra Streisand in "The Way we were", in jennifers words.It was very romantic.

Jennifer suddenly switches to second person narration when ever everardo comes into picture. So there is a switch from a dreamy poetic narration to the practical problems that she confronts in finding everardo.
It is hardly a matter of love at first sight, is it,everardo?.You think iam a CIA agent and I, half blinded in the sun, think you are an adolescent standing over there, almost fragile looking in the shadows of the forest.
Jennifer's fast were all aimed at getting media attention. She clearly plans for it.she informs all news people and human rights organization before the fasts. She reads all books to see how she can sustain long periods of fasting. I think that's the reason why Bobby sands who was on fast for 66 days gets mentioned and not thileepan, who didn't even take water and died in 12 days.

The book might have ended with the Information of everardo's death.But Jenniffer's search for truth is still continuing. she caused a stir by taking the CIA to the court,for covering up the truth. She is a human rights activist and she is fighting for various causes mainly in guatemala.

Jennifer home page
Case against CIA
Clinton Apology

an interesting one
check out the book.It is far more intresting than what i have said.
I read this book. It is powerful -very moving. I am in NZ - actually I sell books I was going to list it but I read it instead.

The work Harbury is doing is vital and it is courageous.

She deserve the Nobel prize not Obama.
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