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U.S. Probe of Death in Guatemala Sought

June 04, 1995| From Associated Press

NEW YORK — A congressman asked the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala City to further investigate the case of a man who was found dead of machete wounds in his hotel bathtub in 1992, according to a newspaper report today.

Rep. Robert G. Torricelli (D-N.J.), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, called for the investigation after meeting with the widow of archeologist Peter Tiscione of New York, the New York Times reported.

Tiscione was found dead in a bathtub at the Pan American Hotel in Guatemala City in August, 1992. He was fully clothed and had died of machete wounds to the neck.

Guatemalan newspapers reported the death as a murder, despite a finding by police and the U.S. Embassy that it was a suicide.

Bernice Tiscione asked Torricelli for his help after he implicated a Guatemalan military officer paid by the Central Intelligence Agency in the 1990 death of an American innkeeper and the 1992 death of a Guatemalan guerrilla married to an American.

Torricelli said Bernice Tiscione "has raised serious questions about the loss of her husband."

But Thomas F. Stroock, the U.S. ambassador to Guatemala at the time of Tiscione's death, released a nine-page log that detailed the embassy's investigation, which concluded that Tiscione had killed himself.

The log noted that Tiscione's hotel room door had been locked from the inside, there had been no forced entry, and that fingerprints on the machete and in the room were all his. The log also said Tiscione suffered from manic depression and had made calls to the embassy stating he was out of medication.

Tiscione, 50, conducted research in Guatemala in 1976 while a student at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He returned in July, 1992, to study Mayan pottery.

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