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demoleft Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 05:00 AM
Original message
El Salvador President Mauricio Funes in abuse apology
Source: bbc

The president of El Salvador has apologised for human rights abuses committed by the state during country's 12-year civil war.

President Mauricio Funes made the first formal apology by one of the country's presidents since the end of the conflict in 1992.

He said the right-wing authorities who governed the country at the time had committed grave human rights abuses.
...
However, Mr Funes, who represents the party of the former Marxist FMLN rebel movement, will no doubt come under criticism for failing to also apologise for the abuses committed by the rebels during the war.

Read more: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8463929.stm
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Fool Count Donating Member (878 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 05:47 AM
Response to Original message
1. WTF? Why should the state be apologizing for something
done by the rebels? Salvadoran government committed enough crimes on its own
to not look for somebody else's transgressions to apologize for in their stead.
If FMLN wanted to do the same, they have their own party congress, or steering
committee, or politbureau, or general secretary or some other organ, other than
a country's president, who can surely do it on their behalf.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 07:40 AM
Response to Original message
2. Clearly a lot of right-wingers are in deep confussion about what happened in El Salvador.
Edited on Sun Jan-17-10 08:24 AM by Judi Lynn
not to mention the entire rest of Latin America and the Caribbean. May God give them the motivation to get off their fat asses and start researching the subject, as opposed to swallowing conspicuous disinformation and whoppers designed for idiots from the propaganda mills, in order to avoid sounding wildly stupid in the future.

~~~~~~~~~

Over 75,000 civilians died at the hands of government forces during the civil war in El Salvador (1980-1992). These 12 years of violence were punctuated by three well known atrocities: the 1979 assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero that sparked the conflict, the 1980 rape and murder of four U.S. churchwomen that caused international outrage and the 1989 Jesuits Massacre that finally compelled the international community to intervene.

ROOTS OF THE CONFLICT
Since the Spanish conquest in the 16th century, a single resource has dominated El Salvador: land. Like its Central American neighbors, El Salvador was organized into a giant plantation for luxury commodities: cocoa, indigo and in the 1800s, coffee. Independence only shifted control from the Spanish to Salvadorans of European ancestry. Indigenous peoples and mestizos, comprising 95% percent of the population, were reduced to virtual serfdom, while a small minority of landholders called the Fourteen Families ruled through a long series of military dictatorships. It is along these fault lines between peasant and planter, European and native that cycles of violence have erupted throughout El Salvadors troubled history. <1>

PRELUDE TO A WAR: 1932-1980

To be Salvadoran, wrote historian Hctor Lindo-Fuentes, means knowing that something tremendous happened in late January 1932. <2> In the western part of the country, labor leader Agustin Farabundo Marti led a peasant revolt against the ruling dictatorship and the Fourteen Families. Within a few weeks, the revolt was crushed in a massive military reprisal called la matanza: the slaughter. An estimated 30,000 civilians were massacred, the majority of whom were indigenous people whose traditional dress and languages marked them for death. The Salvadoran military would dominate the government for decades to come. <2>

To be Salvadoran, wrote historian Hctor Lindo-Fuentes, means knowing that something tremendous happened in late January 1932. <2> In the western part of the country, labor leader Agustin Farabundo Marti led a peasant revolt against the ruling dictatorship and the Fourteen Families. Within a few weeks, the revolt was crushed in a massive military reprisal called la matanza: the slaughter. An estimated 30,000 civilians were massacred, the majority of whom were indigenous people whose traditional dress and languages marked them for death. The Salvadoran military would dominate the government for decades to come. <2>

CIVIL WAR: 1980-1992
The assassination of Archbishop Romero tipped the sporadic political violence of the 1970s into full-scale civil war. When 250,000 mourners gathered for his funeral, snipers attacked the crowd, killing 42 and wounding over 200. A BBC reporter captured the terror: "Tens of thousands of mourners who had gathered for Romero's funeral Mass in front of the cathedral in San Salvador were filmed fleeing in terror as army gunners on the rooftops around the square opened fire.... One person who was there told us he remembered the piles of shoes left behind by those who escaped with their lives." <3>

In September 1980, the five major leftist revolutionary organizations merged to form the Farabundo Mart National Liberation Front (FMLN). The FMLN fielded a guerilla army to oppose government and right-wing paramilitary forces.

A few months later, in December 1980, four American churchwomen were raped and murdered by military and paramilitary forces. U.S. President Jimmy Carter responded by temporarily cutting off aid to El Salvador. But U.S. policy took a dramatic shift with the election of President Ronald Reagan in 1980. Asserting a hemispheric-wide national security strategy, the Reagan administration considered the Salvadoran government its atrocities notwithstanding a friend in the Cold War. <4>

In September 1980, the five major leftist revolutionary organizations merged to form the Farabundo Mart National Liberation Front (FMLN). The FMLN fielded a guerilla army to oppose government and right-wing paramilitary forces.

A few months later, in December 1980, four American churchwomen were raped and murdered by military and paramilitary forces. U.S. President Jimmy Carter responded by temporarily cutting off aid to El Salvador. But U.S. policy took a dramatic shift with the election of President Ronald Reagan in 1980. Asserting a hemispheric-wide national security strategy, the Reagan administration considered the Salvadoran government its atrocities notwithstanding a friend in the Cold War. <4>

More:
http://www.cja.org/article.php?list=type&type=199



Four American nuns are killed by a death squad in El Salvador. The
country was financed and armed by the USA. Three members of the
death squad were trained by the USA run School of the Americas.



EL SALVADOR. Santiago Nonualco. 1980. Unearthing three assassinated American
nuns and a layworker from unmarked grave. (Credit: Susan Meiselas/Magnum Photos)

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Archbishop Oscar Romero
The Last Sermon (1980)
~snip~
We have lived through a tremendously tragic week. I could not give you the facts before, but a week ago last Saturday, on 15 March, one of the largest and most distressing military operations was carried out in the countryside. The villages affected were La Laguna, Plan de Ocotes and El Rosario. The operation brought tragedy: a lot of ranches were burned, there was looting, and-inevitably-people were killed. In La Laguna, the attackers killed a married couple, Ernesto Navas and Audelia Mejia de Navas, their little children, Martin and Hilda, thirteen and seven years old, and eleven more peasants.
Other deaths have been reported, but we do not know the names of the dead. In Plan de Ocotes, two children and four peasants were killed, including two women. In El Rosario, three more peasants were killed. That was last Saturday.
Last Sunday, the following were assassinated in Arcatao by four members of ORDEN: peasants Marcelino Serrano, Vincente Ayala, twenty-four years old, and his son, Freddy. That same day, Fernando Hernandez Navarro, a peasant, was assassinated in Galera de Jutiapa, when he fled from the military.
Last Monday, 17 March, was a tremendously violent day. Bombs exploded in the capital as well as in the interior of the country. The damage was very substantial at the headquarters of the Ministry of Agriculture. The campus of the national university was under armed siege from dawn until 7 P.M. Throughout the day, constant bursts of machine-gun fire were heard in the university area. The archbishop's office intervened to protect people who found themselves caught inside.
On the Hacienda Colima, eighteen persons died, at least fifteen of whom were peasants. The administrator and the grocer of the ranch also died. The armed forces confirmed that there was a confrontation. A film of the events appeared on TV, and many analyzed interesting aspects of the situation.
At least fifty people died in serious incidents that day: in the capital, seven persons died in events at the Colonia Santa Lucia; on the outskirts of Tecnillantas, five people died; and in the area of the rubbish dump, after the evacuation of the site by the military, were found the bodies of four workers who had been captured in that action.
Sixteen peasants died in the village of Montepeque, thirty-eight kilometers along the road to Suchitoto. That same day, two students at the University of Central America were captured in Tecnillantas: Mario Nelson and Miguel Alberto Rodriguez Velado, who were brothers. The first one, after four days of illegal detention, was handed over to the courts. Not so his brother, who was wounded and is still held in illegal detention. Legal Aid is intervening on his behalf.

Amnesty International issued a press release in which it described the repression of the peasants, especially in the area of Chalatenango. The week's events confirm this report in spite of the fact the government denies it. As I entered the church, I was given a cable that says, "Amnesty International confirmed today that in El Salvador human rights are violated to extremes that have not been seen in other countries." That is what Patricio Fuentes (spokesman for the urgent action section for Central America in Swedish Amnesty International) said at a press conference in Managua, Nicaragua.

Fuentes confirmed that, during two weeks of investigations he carried out in El Salvador, he was able to establish that there had been eighty-three political assassinations between 10 and 14 March. He pointed out that Amnesty International recently condemned the government of El Salvador, alleging that it was responsible for six hundred political assassinations. The Salvadorean government defended itself against the charges, arguing that Amnesty International based its condemnation on unproved assumptions.

Fuentes said that Amnesty had established that in El Salvador human rights are violated to a worse degree than the repression in Chile after the coupe d'etat. The Salvadorean government also said that the six hundred dead were the result of armed confrontations between army troops and guerrillas. Fuentes said that during his stay u l El Salvador, he could see that the victims had been tortured before their deaths and mutilated afterward.
The spokesman of Amnesty International said that the victims' bodies characteristically appeared with the thumbs tied behind their backs. Corrosive liquids had been applied to the corpses to prevent identification of the victims by their relatives and to prevent international condemnation, the spokesman added. Nevertheless, the bodies were exhumed and the dead have been identified. Fuentes said that the repression carried out by the Salvadorean army was aimed at breaking the popular organizations through the assassination of their leaders in both town and country.

According to the spokesman of Amnesty International, at least three thousand five hundred peasants have fled from their homes to the capital to escape persecution. "We have complete lists in London and Sweden of young children and women who have been assassinated for being organized," Fuentes stated....

I would like to make a special appeal to the men of the army, and specifically to the ranks of the National Guard, the police and the military. Brothers, you come from our own people. You are killing your own brother peasants when any human order to kill must be subordinate to the law of God which says, "Thou shalt not kill." No soldier is obliged to obey an order contrary to the law of God. No one has to obey an immoral law. It is high time you recovered your consciences and obeyed your consciences rather than a sinful order. The church, the defender of the rights of God, of the law of God, of human dignity, of the person, cannot remain silent before such an abomination. We want the government to face the fact that reforms are valueless if they are to be carried out at the cost of so much blood. In the name of God, in the name of this suffering people whose cries rise to heaven more loudly each day, I implore you, I beg you, I order you in the name of God: stop the repression.

The church preaches your liberation just as we have studied it in just as we have studied it in the holy Bible today. It is a liberation that has, above all else, respect for the dignity of the person, hope for humanity's common good, and the transcendence that looks before all to God and only from God derives its hope and its strength.
http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Human%20Rights%20Docu...





Interior of the Metropolitan Cathedral after the killing of mourners at Archbishop
Romeros funeral, San Salvador, March 30. 1980. (Credit: Harry Mattison)
A Report from Romero's Funeral
From April 26, 1980

~snip~
All went peacefully through a succession of prayers, readings, hymns until the moment in his homily when Cardinal Ernesto Corripio Ahumada of Mexico, the personal delegate of Pope John Paul II, began to praise Archbishop Romero as a man of peace and a foe of violence. Suddenly, a bomb exploded at the far edge of the plaza, seemingly in front of the National Palace, a government building. Next, gun shots, sharp and clear, echoed off the walls surrounding the plaza. At first, the cardinal's plea for all to remain calm seemed to have a steadying impact. But as another explosion reverberated, panic took hold and the crowd broke ranks and ran. Some headed for the side streets, but thousands more rushed up the stairs and fought their way into the cathedral.

As one of the concelebrating priests, I had been inside the cathedral from the start. Now I watched the terrified mob push through the doors until every inch of space was filled. Looking about me, I suddenly realized that, aside from the nuns, priests and bishops, the mourners were the poor and the powerless of EI Salvador. Absent were government representatives of the nation or of other countries. The ceremony had begun at 11 a.m. and it was now after noon. For the next hour and a half or two, we found ourselves tightly packed into the cathedral, some huddled under the pews, others clutching one another in fright, still others praying silently or aloud.

The bomb explosions grew closer and more frequent until the cathedral began to shudder. Would the whole edifice collapse? Or would a machine gunner appear in a doorway to strafe the crowd? A little peasant girl named Reina, dressed up in her brown-and-white checked Sunday dress, clung to me in desperation and pleaded, &ldquoPadre, tngame.

We lived through that horror of bombs, bullets and panic&mdashnow dead bodies were being carried into the cathedral from outside&mdashfor nearly two hours. At certain moments one could not help wondering if we would all be killed. At the same time, I was already asking myself, "What is going on here? What is this experience telling me about the debate between Archbishop Romero and the U.S. State Department?"

Eventually, the bombing and shooting subsided. The papl nuncio to El Salvador received assurance by phone from some government source that it was safe for the people to leave the cathedral. Gradually, we filed out into the street with hands raised high above our heads, according to instructions, so as to assure any potential snipers that we were unarmed.

Later in the afternoon, back at the Jesuit residence where I was stayin, we listened by radio to the Government's official account of the incident. The entire affair, the statement explained, was the work of leftist terrorists. Our own experience had given us, of course, a different picture.
More:
http://www.americamagazine.org/content/article.cfm?arti...



A victim of the right-wing death squads lies in the middle of a highway.
January 17, 1981 (Credit: Alain Keler / Corbis Sygma)



Government soldiers on a coastal road. February 8, 1982
(Credit: Alain Keler / Corbis Sygma)


Wikipedia, on Archbishop Romero's assassination and funeral:
~snip~
Romero was killed by a shot to the heart on March 24, 1980, while celebrating Mass at a small chapel located in a hospital called "La Divina Providencia", one day after a sermon where he had called on Salvadoran soldiers, as Christians, to obey God's higher order and to stop carrying out the government's repression and violations of basic human rights. According to an audio-recording of the Mass, he was shot while holding up the Eucharist. When he was shot, his blood spilled over the altar.

It is believed that the assassins were members of a death squad. This view was supported in 1993 by an official U.N. report, which identified the man who ordered the killing as former Major Roberto D'Aubuisson.<12> He had also planned to overthrow the government in a coup. Later he founded the political party Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA), and organized death squads that systematically carried out politically-motivated assassinations and other human rights abuses in El Salvador. lvaro Rafael Saravia, a former captain in the Salvadoran Air Force, was chief of security for Roberto D'Aubuisson and an active member of these death squads. In 2003, a U.S. human rights organization, the Center for Justice and Accountability, filed a civil action against Saravia. In 2004, he was found liable by a US District Court under the Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA) (28 U.S.C. 1350) for aiding, conspiring, and participating in the assassination of Archbishop Romero. Saravia was ordered to pay $10 million dollars for extrajudicial killing and crimes against humanity pursuant to the ATCA. Doe v. Rafael Saravia, 348 F. Supp. 2d 1112 (E.D. Cal. 2004) (providing an excellent account of the events leading up, and subsequent, to Archbishop Romero's death).

Romero is buried in the Metropolitan Cathedral of San Salvador (Catedral Metropolitana de San Salvador). The funeral mass (rite of visitation and requiem) on March 30, 1980, in San Salvador was attended by more than 250,000 mourners from all over the world. Viewing this attendance as a protest, Jesuit priest John Dear has said, "Romeros funeral was the largest demonstration in Salvadoran history, some say in the history of Latin America."

During the ceremony, a smoke bomb exploded on the Cathedral square (Plaza Gerardo Barrios) and subsequently there were rifle-fire shots that came from surrounding buildings, including the National Palace. Many people were killed by gunfire and during the following mass panic; official sources talk of 31 overall casualties, journalists indicated between 30 and 50 dead.<12> Some witnesses claimed it was government security forces that threw bombs into the crowd, and army sharpshooters, dressed as civilians, that fired into the chaos from the balcony or roof of the National Palace. However, there are contradictory accounts as to the course of the events and "probably, one will never know the truth about the interrupted funeral."<12> This proved to be a turning point in the history of the Salvadoran conflict, a peak in the power of popular organizations aligned with the left, whose popularity declined after this event under the suspicion that they attempted to capitalize on this tragic event for political gain.

Twenty-five years later, the BBC recalled the horror:

"Tens of thousands of mourners who had gathered for Romero's funeral Mass in front of the cathedral in San Salvador were filmed fleeing in terror as army gunners on the rooftops around the square opened fire.... One person who was there told us he remembered the piles of shoes left behind by those who escaped with their lives."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%93scar_Romero#Assassin...
Still No Justice for Priests in Notorious El Salvador Massacre 20 Years Later
By Norman Stockwell, AlterNet. Posted November 18, 2009.



On November 16, 1989, an elite unit of the Salvadoran military entered the gates of the Jesuit-run Central American University in San Salvador. When they left, six priests lay dead, along with their housekeeper and her teenage daughter.

I reported on the murders that year, for the local Wisconsin community radio station, WORT. The killings took place at a time when the capital city was in the midst of the largest offensive to date in El Salvador's decade-old civil war -- and the U.S. government was supplying about "supplying over $550 million dollars per year in aid to the Salvadoran government -- about one quarter of it directly to the Salvadoran military." The city was totally militarized, with an army base not far from the Jesuit university campus itself, but in spite of this, attempts were being made to blame the killings on the FMLN rebels -- a sign was even planted near the bodies claiming that the priests were executed by the guerrillas as spies.

~snip~
The priests had been shot, some still in their bedrooms or studies, and dragged to the courtyard outside, where their brains were systematically blown out. The wounds to the housekeeper and her daughter were more brutal and of a sexual nature.

~snip~
Another thread in the saga of the killings was the story of another witness, a neighbor named Lucia Barrera de Cerna, who had seen men in military uniforms in the courtyard during the killing of the priests. She and her husband were taken, ostensibly for protection, to the Miami office of the FBI where they were interrogated with such intensity that she eventually recanted her original testimony out of fear.
More:
http://www.alternet.org/world/144021/still_no_justice_f...





EL SALVADOR: Spanish Judge to Investigate Murders of Jesuit Priests
By Ral Gutirrez

SAN SALVADOR, Jan 13 , 2009 (IPS) - A Spanish judges decision to investigate 14 Salvadoran military officers for the 1989 killings of six Jesuit priests in El Salvador is a "sign of hope against impunity," according to lawyers and activists.

In his resolution, which was seen by IPS, Madrid Judge Eloy Velasco stated that under the principle of universal jurisdiction he is competent to investigate 14 members of the Salvadoran army for their alleged participation in the Nov. 16, 1989 murder of the six priests, their housekeeper and her 16-year-old daughter.

The judges decision was in response to a lawsuit filed in November by two human rights groups, the Spanish Association for Human Rights (APDHE) and the San Francisco-based Centre for Justice and Accountability (CJA).

Almudena Bernabe, a Spanish lawyer with the CJA, told IPS from San Francisco that she was very pleased that "the judge concurred that the officers can be tried for crimes against humanity and terrorism."

David Morales, a lawyer at the Foundation for Studies on the Application of Rights (FESPAD), told IPS that "this is encouraging news in the effort to put an end to impunity in this country."

Morales has been a plaintiff in several human rights cases, including one brought before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) against the Salvadoran state for the March 1980 assassination of the Catholic archbishop of San Salvador scar Romero, who was killed while celebrating mass.

Romero was murdered by a death squad on the orders of Roberto D'Aubuisson, the late founder of the ruling right-wing Nationalist Republican Party (ARENA), according to the United Nations-sponsored Truth Commission created by the peace agreement that put an end to the 1980-1992 civil war.

Morales said the legal investigation into the Jesuits murders - one of the most notorious cases of human rights abuses committed during the armed conflict - will confirm that the 14 officers are guilty of the crime, as has "already been demonstrated," and will show that Salvadoran courts have refused to bring them to trial.
More:
http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=45399





~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
1970s-80s ~ South Americas Dirty Wars and Vietnam in Central America
Wednesday, April 15th, 2009 by Marvin Lance Wiser

~snip~
In some places the Reagan Doctrine was meeting a shove with every push it enacted. For many El Salvador became Spanish for Vietnam. During his presidency, account after account was reported of U.S.-trained soldiers (more commonly known as death squads- similar to those seen in Chile in the 1970s) raiding towns in El Salvador, torturing civilians, cutting off genitalia, and murdering infants. One such event occurred in 1981 in El Mozote, El Salvador. In December of that year there was a systematic execution of nearly 1,000 civilians. The entire town was ravaged by a U.S.-trained and sponsored government battalion. The event was completely denied by both the U.S. and El Salvadoran governments for years. Yet, as time passed and excavations of El Mozote revealed hundreds of bullets manufactured in Lake City, Missouri, the truth became difficult to deny and the public difficult to deceive. It has been projected that in just two years, 1981-1983, more than 100,000 Mayan peasants that were resisting to the changes that Washington was sponsoring were executed. Many U.S. reporters were pulled out of the country during this time; children were drowned in front of their mothers; infants were bashed against rocks; peasants were burned alive; families were made to drink the blood of their pets; farmers were made to bathe in sewage and made to try to outrun soldiers wielding machetes; pregnant women had their stomachs cut open and their fetuses pulled out; young boys were kidnapped and made to fight with the government, raping women and girls (Grandins EW, 90). This is not WWII Poland, this is not even Vietnam, this is El Salvador a mere quarter of a century ago. For many El Salvador became Spanish for Vietnam. For further reading about the heinous crimes committed at El Mozote, I suggest you read the book The Massacre at El Mozote by the New Yorker journalist and now University of California Professor who broke the story in 1993, Mark Danner.
More:
http://wiserblog.wordpress.com/2009/04/15/1970s-80s-sou... /

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

From DU'er Say_What, March 8, 2005:
Say_What (1000+ posts) Tue Mar-08-05 12:25 PM
Original message
O.A.S. to Reopen Inquiry Into Massacre in El Salvador in 1981
Edited on Tue Mar-08-05 12:28 PM by Say_What
<clips>

O.A.S. to Reopen Inquiry Into Massacre in El Salvador in 1981
Published: March 8, 2005

The Organization of American States will reopen an investigation this week into the massacre of hundreds of peasants in 1981 at El Mozote, El Salvador, based on new forensic evidence found by anthropologists at the site, according to lawyers involved in the case.

More than 800 unarmed peasants were killed in December 1981 by soldiers from the Salvadoran Armed Forces at El Mozote, a village in the mountains of the Morazn region, near the country's southern border. The soldiers, from a battalion trained and equipped by the United States, accused the peasants of sympathizing with guerrillas. The O.A.S. is looking into whether the Salvadoran government approved the killings.

The decision to revisit one of the most gruesome events of the country's 12-year conflict will come as unwelcome news to the Salvadoran government, which has never conducted an independent and impartial investigation of its own.

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, a division of the O.A.S., is conducting the investigation. Recent efforts by lawyers in El Salvador to reopen the case, which was shelved in 2000, had repeatedly failed, even after a court ruling that year stripped protection under the national amnesty law from suspects in the most egregious human rights violations. "They say that we should put this behind us," said Rufina Amaya, the only resident of El Mazote known to have survived. "But we cannot forget what happened."

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/08/international/america...
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
Wikipedia:

The El Mozote Massacre took place in the village of El Mozote, in Morazn department, El Salvador, on December 11, 1981, when Salvadoran armed forces trained by the United States military killed at least 1000 civilians in an anti-guerrilla campaign.<1><2>

As news of the massacre slowly emerged, the Reagan administration in the United States attempted to dismiss it as FMLN propaganda because it had the potential to seriously embarrass the United States government because of its reflection of the human rights abuses of the Salvadoran government, which the US was supporting with large amounts of military aid.<3>

December 10
On the afternoon of December 10, 1981, units of the Salvadoran army's Atlacatl Battalion (named after a famous indigenous fighter who battled the Spanish troops for El Salvador) arrived at the remote village of El Mozote after a clash with guerrillas in the vicinity.<4> The Atlacatl was a "Rapid Deployment Infantry Battalion" specially trained for counter-insurgency warfare. It was the first unit of its kind in the Salvadoran armed forces and was trained by United States military advisors. Its mission, Operacin Rescate ("Operation Rescue"), was to eliminate the rebel presence in a small region of northern Morazn where the FMLN had a camp and a training center.

El Mozote consisted of about twenty houses situated on open ground around a square. Facing onto the square was a church and, behind it, a small building known as "the convent", used by the priest to change into his vestments when he came to the village to celebrate mass. Near the village was a small schoolhouse.

Upon arrival, the soldiers found not only the residents of the village but also campesinos who had sought refuge from the surrounding area. The soldiers ordered everyone out of their houses and into the square. They made them lie face down, searched them, and questioned them about the guerrillas. They then ordered the villagers to lock themselves in their houses until the next day, warning that anyone coming out would be shot.<4> The soldiers remained in the village during the night.

December 11 and 12
Early the next morning, the soldiers reassembled the entire village in the square. They separated the men from the women and children and locked them in separate groups in the church, the convent, and various houses.

During the morning, they proceeded to interrogate, torture, and execute the men in several locations. Around noon, they began taking the women and older girls in groups, separating them from their children and machine-gunning them after raping them. Girls as young as 12 were raped, under the pretext of them being supportive of the guerillas. Finally, they killed the children. A group of children that had been locked in the church and its convent was shot through the windows.

After killing the entire population, the soldiers set fire to the buildings.

The soldiers remained in El Mozote that night. The next day, they went to the village of Los Toriles, 2 km away. Several of the inhabitants managed to escape. The others men, women and children were taken from their homes, lined up, and shot.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Mozote_massacre

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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 08:10 AM
Response to Original message
3. "will no doubt come under criticism for..."? What kind of reporting is that?
Answer: Faux News reporting. Wall Street Urinal reporting. Miami Hairball reporting. BBCrap reporting.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 08:54 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Isn't that underhanded? AP, for some reason, didn't include that right-wing baloney.
Jan 16, 6:24 PM EST
Salvadoran prez apologizes for civil war abuses

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) -- President Mauricio Funes has apologized to the victims of El Salvador's brutal civil war and recognized the state's role in human rights violations.

The leftist president also announced the creation of a commission to prepare moral and material reparations for abuses committed during the 12-year war that pitted right-wing governments against Marxist guerrillas.

Funes spoke Saturday on the 18th anniversary of the 1992 signing of the accord that ended the war.

Funes, the first president from the party founded by the rebels, said members of the armed forces and security agencies, as well as groups organized by the state, committed human rights violations and abuses of power."

The civil war left more than 75,000 dead.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/L/LT_SALVADOR_CIVI...

~~~~~~~

For some reason, the right-wing refuses to acknowledge the facts the entire WORLD knows, has always known, that the right-wing governments and their governments, right up to the present, which most certain refers to Colombia today, have ALWAYS been responsible for the "lion's share" or the "vast majority" of the murders, massacres, disappearances, torture, etc. as stated by human rights groups like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, and the United Nations. The reason they refuse to acknowledge the truth is because they APPROVE of whatever evil methods are used to destroy people they, in their profound ignorance, believe are their "enemies".

If they bothered to keep up on current events, and do the necessary thinking, and research, they'd know, themselves, and would have something in common with the conscious, awakened part of the human race.

~~~~~~~
WikiLeaks: How to train death squads and quash revolutions from San Salvador to Iraq

~snip~
The template for Iraq today is not Vietnam, with which it has often been compared, but El Salvador, where a right-wing government backed by the United States fought a leftist insurgency in a 12-year war beginning in 1980. The cost was high more than 70,000 people were killed, most of them civilians, in a country with a population of just six million. Most of the killing and torturing was done by the army and the right-wing death squads affiliated with it. According to an Amnesty International report in 2001, violations committed by the army and associated groups included extrajudicial executions, other unlawful killings, disappearances and torture. . . . Whole villages were targeted by the armed forces and their inhabitants massacred. As part of President Reagans policy of supporting anti-Communist forces, hundreds of millions of dollars in United States aid was funneled to the Salvadoran Army, and a team of 55 Special Forces advisers, led for several years by Jim Steele, trained front-line battalions that were accused of significant human rights abuses.
http://www.infowars.com/wikileaks-how-to-train-death-sq... /

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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 09:53 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. Amnesty Internat'l attributes **92%** of the murders of union leaders in Colombia,
Edited on Sun Jan-17-10 09:54 AM by Peace Patriot
over the recent decade, to the Colombian military (about half) and its closely tied rightwing paramilitary death squads (the other half) and only 2% to the FARC (armed leftist guerillas). That proportion holds true in many situations in which fascists, torturers and mass murderers have seized a government and are brutally oppressing the poor and their advocates, or are trying to topple a good government that respects human rights (--with the U.S. thickly involved on the wrong side of these conflicts every time.) So you can think what you want about people who choose to fight such oppression by armed means, but you cannot equate one (fascist oppression) with the other (armed rebellion against fascist oppression). The stats bear out that the vast bulk of the violence against non-combatants in Latin America has been inflicted by rightwing forces.

This BBCrap that Funes "will no doubt come under criticism for" not apologizing for the armed rebellion against the rightwing horrors in El Salvador is yet more evidence of the BBC's complete unreliability on Latin American issues, if we needed any more evidence. It also makes me very concerned about CIA plots to overthrow democracy in El Salvador, once again, as just occurred in Honduras. The British and the U.S. government worked in tandem to accomplish the slaughter of a hundred thousand innocent people in Iraq, to steal their oil. What are they working in tandem on now?

And when the BBC tried to provide the least bit of objectivity about that horrendous invasion, they got downsized and muzzled. They are no longer any kind of trustworthy source of world news, where US/UK corporate and war profiteer interests are involved.
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