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Marvin Velasquez-Valencia is a native and citizen of Guatemala who seeks political asylum in this country. In 1991, Velasquez (then aged 16) lived on a large plantation in Guatemala which his stepfather administered but did not own. During this period a guerilla organization, urging land redistribution, was engaged in a civil war with the government. That summer, an armed group of the guerillas entered Velasquez’ home seeking supplies. When his stepfather refused to assist, he was beaten, threatened, and briefly kidnapped. In response, Guatemalan army units patrolled the area for two weeks.

In December 1991 the guerrillas again came to Velasquez’ home, this time threatening and beating his mother and (according to Velasquez) asking for him by name. Later that month, the guerillas took him and three friends from church, demanding that they enlist with the guerrillas. The boys fled but one was apparently shot and killed in the escape. In January 1992, Velasquez left the country at his parents’ direction after the army (not the guerillas) tried forcibly to induct him while he was traveling to Guatemala City. He entered the United States illegally through Mexico in February 1992 and was promptly detained by the INS.

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