US role in Salvadoran atrocities


US role in Salvadoran atrocities

The US embassy in San Salvador directly assisted in at least one death squad disappearance, according to Lauren Gilbert, who coordinated investigations for the UN Truth Commission.

Gilbert told the US State Department's special investigative commission that on January 22, 1980, during the Carter administration, members of the Salvadoran National Guard seized two students outside the US embassy.

They then took the students inside the embassy grounds to search and interrogate them. The guard members consulted with US military advisers. Afterwards the students were forced into an unmarked car and never seen again.

Gilbert's testimony comes as the Pentagon reacts to evidence from the Truth Commission that 45 Salvadoran officers implicated in the worst war atrocities were trained at US military schools.

But the Mexican daily, La Jornada, charges that the UN commission found still more damaging information about US military training. According to an unnamed participant in sessions at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, the training included instruction in assassinating opposition leaders, using real cases as examples.

The participant says that the real cases included opposition leader Ruben Zamora and Archbishop Oscar Romero. Actual assassination attempts were subsequently made against both, successfully in Romero's case.
[Radio Havana via Pegasus.]