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Changing scenes in Central America

Dennis Volman's article on the ``disappeared'' in Guatemala was a frank account [``Guatemala's `disappeared'. . . Where are they?,'' Jan. 14]. It is encouraging that the Guatemalan government is beginning to allow demonstrations to protest the senseless violence taking place. The situation in Guatemala must be improving. As for the prosecution of government and military officials responsible for human rights abuses, pursuance of such a policy by newly elected President Vinicio Cerezo would likely endanger the success of developing a stable democratic institution. Cerezo's government is in transition from military to civilian rule. His administration will be successful if it merely sets the stage for real reform, which might become possible during a second civilian administration. Jon Stoffel Elsah, Ill.

Will educating Central America's poor in universities in the United States really ``aid the US cause'' [``Letting democracy sell itself,'' Jan. 17]?

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Recently a representative of the guerrillas in El Salvador visited our town and said in a talk, ``I went to school at the University of California at Berkeley, not Moscow University -- but Reagan thinks that's worse than going to Moscow University.''

Educating Central America's poor will present them with our views, but also the inconsistency of our views. For example, our supposed ``yesteryear's support of dictators'' will be contrasted with the reality of our present day support for dictators in Paraguay, Chile, Philippines, and elsewhere.

We should invite and pay for Central America's poor to attend universities here. But the result may not be the automatic acceptance you envision. Ho Chi Minh was educated in Paris, and one of the Sandinista leaders -- well, he graduated from one of the best universities right here in Kansas. William A. Draves Manhattan, Kan. Creative financing

It is gratifying to see New Mexico recognized as part of the US, but your map places Tucumcari to the west rather than the east of Albuquerque [``12 million hands for US hungry,'' Jan. 23]. This geography error would add more hands and more dollars to the effort, as the line would cross New Mexico twice. That's what I call creative financing and would put a knot in the ``serpentine route.'' A good effort! W. R. Franz Albuquerque, N.M.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published and none individually acknowledged. All are subject to condensation. Please address letters to ``readers write.''

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