El Mozote massacre
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The El Mozote Massacre took place in the village of El Mozote, in Morazán 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. It is reputed to be the worst such atrocity in modern Latin America history.

[1982] Massacre Of Hundreds Reported In Salvador Village

[2004] Raymond Bonner and the Salvadoran Civil War 1980 to 1983 By John F. Kirch

The Massacre at El Mozote by Mark Danner

The Truth of El Mozote by Mark Danner 

Rufina could not see the children; she could only hear their cries as the soldiers waded into them, slashing some with their machetes, crushing the skulls of others with the butts of their rifles. Many others — the youngest children, most below the age of twelve — the soldiers herded from the house of Alfredo Márquez across the street to the sacristy, pushing them, crying and screaming, into the dark tiny room. There the soldiers raised their M16s and emptied their magazines into the roomful of children.
    When they reached the playing field, “there were maybe thirty children,” he says. “The soldiers were putting ropes on the trees. I was seven years old, and I didn’t really understand what was happening until I saw one of the soldiers take a kid he had been carrying — the kid was maybe three years old — throw him in the air, and stab him with a bayonet.
    “They slit some of the kids’ throats, and many they hanged from the tree. All of us were crying now, but we were their prisoners — there was nothing we could do. The soldiers kept telling us, ‘You are guerrillas and this is justice. This is justice.’ Finally, there were only three of us left. I watched them hang my brother. He was two years old. I could see I was going to be killed soon, and I thought it would be better to die running, so I ran. I slipped through the soldiers and dived into the bushes. They fired into the bushes, but none of their bullets hit me.”
.....There was one in particular the soldiers talked about that evening (she is mentioned in the Tutela Legal report as well): a girl on La Cruz whom they had raped many times during the course of the afternoon, and through it all, while the other women of El Mozote had screamed and cried as if they had never had a man, this girl had sung hymns, strange evangelical songs, and she had kept right on singing, too, even after they had done what had to be done, and shot her in the chest. She had lain there on La Cruz with the blood flowing from her chest, and had kept on singing — a bit weaker than before, but still singing. And the soldiers, stupefied, had watched and pointed. Then they had grown tired of the game and shot her again, and she sang still, and their wonder began to turn to fear — until finally they had unsheathed their machetes and hacked through her neck, and at last the singing had stopped. The Truth of El Mozote by Mark Danner

In some cases, as we saw later, in late 1981 of course there was, what is now fairly well known, the massacre in El Mazote. And this was a case where the first American trained battalion was sent out over Christmas time in 1981 into rebel controlled territory and it swept through this territory and killed everybody, everyone they could find - including the children. When two American reporters, Ray Bonner and Alma Jimapareta (?), went to the scene of this atrocity in January of 1982, they were able to see some of what was left behind and they interviewed witnesses who had survived, and came out with stories describing what they had found. This was of course extremely upsetting to the Reagan administration, which at that time was about to certify that the Salvadoran military was showing respect for human rights, and that was necessary to get further funding and weapons for the Salvadoran military.
    And I was at those hearings which occurred afterwards, on the hill, and when Tom Enders who was then Assistant Secretary Of State for Inter-American affairs gave his description of how the State Department had investigated this and had found really nothing had happened or that they had found no evidence of any mass killing, and they argued with great cleverness that the last census had not shown even that many people in El Mazote - there were not the 800 or so who were alleged to have been killed - only 200 had lived there to begin with, and many still lived there, he said. Of course it wasn't true, but it was, I guess in their view, necessary - it was necessary to conceal what was going on. And, it became necessary then, to also discredit the journalists, so Raymond Bonner, and Alma and others, who were not accepting this story, had to be made to seem to be liars. They had to be destroyed. And the administration began developing their techniques, which they always were very good at - they were extremely good at public relations, that's what's they had - many of them had come from - the President himself had been an advertising figure for General Electric - and they were very adept at how to present things in the most favorable way for them. [1993] Fooling America. A talk by Robert Parry