"And kill the people to set them free
Who put this price on their liberty?
Don't you think it's time to leave El Salvador?"
Peter, Paul and Mary
"There is a tremendous irony that President George W Bush has chosen to visit El Salvador on the anniversary of the murder of the country's Archbishop, Oscar Arnulfo Romero, 22 years ago.
A campaigner against the Salvadorean army's death squad war, Monsignor Romero was shot through the heart while saying Mass, shortly after appealing to the US not to send military aid to El Salvador.
To defeat the rebels, the US equipped and trained an army which kidnapped and disappeared more than 30,000 people, and carried out large-scale massacres of thousands of old people women and children."
"Be a patriot, kill an American" and
"Imperialists get out of El Salvador"
"At least 26 people were killed and about 200 injured today when explosions and gunfire set off a stampede during the funeral for Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero, who was killed Monday as he celebrated mass in a small hospital chapel.
Archbishop Romero, who had criticized both the extreme right and the extreme left for widespread killing and torture in El Salvador, was one of the leading human rights advocates in Latin America."
"The debate on police aid here - as in other Latin American countries traumatized by police violence - grows out of bitter divisions stemming from state-sponsored terrorism, which ravaged El Salvador in the early 1980's.
The aid package, they say, is destructive because it rewards unrepentent torturers and members of the right-wing death squads.
The aid has renewed a contraversy that began over a decades-old United States program to aid foriegn police forces that has been widely blamed for abedding state-sponsored terrorism in the third world. Begun in 1952, it financed the training of thousands of police officers in 77 countries, including some with Governments that became known for brutal treatment of dissidents, such as those of Uganda under President Idi Amin and Iran under Shah Mohammed Riza Pahlevi.
In El Salvador, American aid was used for police training in the 1950's and the 1960's and many officers in the three branches of the police later became leaders of the right-wing death squads that killed tens of thousands of people in the late 1970's and the early 1980's.
"We're gettng back in the business of helping governments crack down on their own people," said Holly Burkhalter, the Washington representative for Americas Watch.
She said the aid package would lead only to an increase in torture."
"A 21-year-old who asserts that he is a former Salvadoran soldier says that United States Military advisers were present at two "traning sessions" early last year when two suspected guerrillas were tortured by Salvadoran Army Instructors.
According to Mr. Gomez, many guerrillas were people suspected of being guerrilla sympathizers were dropped alive into the sea from helicopters. On other occasions, he said, bodies were discarded along roads after the faces had been slashed so they could not be identified.
Mr. Gomez said that his paratroop unit received training from two United States advisers."
"A report issued by the Arms Control and Foreign Policy Caucus, a bipartisan group, says economic and military aid, which will total at least $557 million this year, is worsening El Salvador's problems and prolonging the civil war. One reason, the report says, is that most of the spending has been military, despite Administration claims that most has been for economic and social development.
The United States has provided $1.7 billion in aid to El Salvador since 1980.
As an example, the report says the Administration asked for an additional $93 million last year on the ground that an "emergency" existed in Salvadoran arms supplies."
"For the past 55 years it has been running a terrorist training camp, whose victims massively outnumber the people killed by the attack on New York, the embassy bombings and the other atrocities laid, rightly or wrongly, at al-Qaida's door. The camp is called the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, or Whisc. It is based in Fort Benning, Georgia, and it is funded by Mr Bush's government.
Until January this year, Whisc was called the "School of the Americas", or SOA. Since 1946, SOA has trained more than 60,000 Latin American soldiers and policemen. Among its graduates are many of the continent's most notorious torturers, mass murderers, dictators and state terrorists. As hundreds of pages of documentation compiled by the pressure group SOA Watch show, Latin America has been ripped apart by its alumni.
In 1993, the United Nations truth commission on El Salvador named the army officers who had committed the worst atrocities of the civil war. Two-thirds of them had been trained at the School of the Americas. Among them were Roberto D'Aubuisson, the leader of El Salvador's death squads; the men who killed Archbishop Oscar Romero; and 19 of the 26 soldiers who murdered the Jesuit priests in 1989. In Chile, the school's graduates ran both Augusto Pinochet's secret police and his three principal concentration camps. One of them helped to murder Orlando Letelier and Ronni Moffit in Washington DC in 1976. "
Gritty, violent, ideologically potent political drama about American journalist in early 80s El Salvador. With its powerful lead performances, this appeals to fans of intense, confrontational drama who enjoy political overtones.
Archbishop of El Salvador had the courage to live the teaching of Jesus, even though this meant alienating the rich and powerful who oppressed, tortured, murdered, and defrauded the poor of that nation.
Book: Killing Hope|
From China in the 1940s to Guatemala today, William Blum provides the most comprehensive study of the ongoing American holocaust.
Book: The Protection Racket State|
by William Stanley
Elite Politics, Military Extortion, and Civil War in El Salvador