· March 24 is the 30th anniversary of the assassination of Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero. He was shot in the heart by a right wing death squad while saying mass in a small chapel at a cancer hospital in San Salvador. The archbishop, who started out as a conservative, had become the voice of the poor and disenfranchised, documenting killings and disappearances at the hands of the army and mysterious right-wing death squads .
WASHINGTON (AP) _ An ex-Salvadoran army officer says he personally commanded a ″death squad″ team in the early s and witnessed El Salvador’s U.S.-backed military execute civilians during a counterinsurgency sweep. Former Lt. Ricardo Ernesto Castro said Salvadoran soldiers and police routinely participated in death squad killings of suspected ″subversives.″.Estimated Reading Time: 4 mins.
· American Foreign Service Officer Todd Greentree served in El Salvador from , a time when violence from local “death squads” was at its peak. He also served in Afghanistan from , the height of what was then termed the Global War on Terror. Greentree’s oral history describes first-hand the dangers of living as a diplomat in conflict zones, and discusses the impact of conflict on .
a target of the death squads and were the first known victims of a mass disappearance in Latin America. In March , some 33 PG T leaders and their associates were kidnapped, tortured, and killed. The Guatemalan government denied involvement, but, in .
· “Gangs everywhere” remains a fact of life throughout El Salvador, a country of 6 million people where million live in poverty and the defense ministry estimates that about , are somehow connected to gang activity. The major rival groups, Barrio 18 and MS, have U.S. origins.
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