They found the streets deserted. Cristino begged his mother tearfully to take them out of the house, lest they be killed, as he had seen his father killed. Nonetheless, Greentree insisted to me that he “did not feel that what went out distorted beyond acceptability” what he had written. The three Americans agreed that the information they gathered in the refugee camp was not explicit. Mobility and quickness had always been central to the guerrillas’ strength, along with their familiarity with the mountain terrain. This only made the soldiers angrier. So no one’s going to volunteer, ‘Hey, I was up there.

But, like so much else in this story, the battle — its intensity, even its precise location — has become a matter of fierce dispute. Her mother took ill and soon died. It took two soldiers to pull the baby from me. Tired and impatient, the soldiers swarmed about the houses of El Mozote and pounded on the doors with the butts of their M16s. Finally, perhaps two decades after graduation, one or two from the tanda — those who had stood out early on as presidenciables, as destined to become leaders of the country — would lobby within the officer corps to become the President of El Salvador.

But here, here we’re not guerrillas. The city would be totally destroyed. Rufina and her husband, Domingo Claros, emerged with their four children: Skulls, rib cages, femurs, a spinal column and countless other pieces of bone poked out of ruble. Having been deployed as a blocking force along the Torola and Sapo Rivers, to the south and east, and along the black road, to the west, they were now tightening the circle.

Where did they hide their guns? And Yet It Moves Issue 1: And the soldiers, still close enough to touch, remained where they were, smoking cigarettes and watching the fire. Amid studyy maguey, Rufina Amaya closed her eyes, remained motionless.

International Journal of Practical Theology

And yet six weeks after the events were alleged to have taken place the Embassy reported that it had not managed to discover which units were in El Mozote — this although at least ten American advisers were assigned to the Atlacatl, the unit accused in all the press reports. After a time, syudy reached out a hand and began groping about in the weeds, slowly pulling the thorny strips to her, gathering them into a pile and heaping them over her body. Bonner said that he, too, had met an American, whom he identified as Joe David Sanderson.


On the shoulders of their uniforms they bore, in white or yellow, the figure of an Indian and the word “Atlacatl” the name of a legendary Indian warrior who had led the fight against the conquistadores.

Mark Danner The Truth of El Mozote

This essay posits that theological reflection on a particular practice of remembering suffering — namely, the memory of the El Mozote massacre in El Salvador — reveals that hope in the memory of suffering is an integral component of Christian formation.

Those men numbered ten by the time they reached a field in front of the clinic, which was a blur of unaccustomed activity: The guerrillas had never been able to establish a foothold in this town of mostly Protestant evangelicals, who tended to look sourly on communism. Embassy officials recommended, cajoled, and finally urged reassignments, but changes, when they came at all, came only after enormous effort.

el mozote case study

We couldn’t do anything with the badly charred people, but the others we buried. Nonetheless, Greentree insisted to me that ztudy “did not feel that what went out distorted beyond acceptability” nozote he had written. They eventually interviewed some inhabitants mzote a refugee camp in the nearby municipality of Gotera, but were accompanied by Salvadoran soldiers, making honest and open discussion impossible.

They were big men, well fed, and they looked even bigger than they were, outfitted in high black boots and uniforms of heavy greenish-brown cloth, with automatic rifles on their backs, and razor-sharp machetes hanging at their belts. Human rights atrocities like the rape and murder of the American nuns and the assassination of Romero had grabbed headlines and raised questions about what the United States was doing in the country — whether American aid was bankrolling widespread, indiscriminate, unjustifiable slaughter in its supposed nozote to fight Communism.


The rebel soldiers also gave the reporters their version of events, and Guillermoprieto said that an American working in the area also described what he believed had taken place.

Salvadoran Army, Atlacatl Battalion.

Remembering El Mozote, the Worst Massacre in Modern Latin American History | The Nation

The people, terrified, grateful to be alive, hurried into their houses — crowded into them, for virtually every room in the hamlet held extra people.

Then the soldiers lowered their M16s and fired bursts into each man’s brain.

el mozote case study

Finally, after twenty-two days of intense fighting, the guerrillas slipped away across the black road under cover of night. Get a discounted subscription today! Otherwise, people would have left.

The Massacre of El Mozote: 36 Years of Struggles for Truth and Justice

However, by the following afternoon, Thursday, the lists had run out, and at some point — perhaps that day, perhaps late the day before — the officers made a decision about the direction the operation was to take. They slung mizote backpacks on the ground, stretched, and after a few moments of searching found a boy who had been waiting for them — their F.

el mozote case study

In Arambala, the officers still relied cass their lists to select who would die. Tired and impatient, the soldiers swarmed about the houses of El Mozote and pounded on the doors with the butts of their M16s.

Survivors of the El Mozote massacre, who were parties to the complaint, are cited to give testimony in pretrial proceedings in the El Mozote case.

The peasants said that they had come upon her near a river — found her crouched there nearly naked, her limbs and body smeared with blood and covered with thorns. The soldiers kept telling us, ‘You are guerrillas and this is justice.

Maybe that was what saved me.


Most people at the Embassy, including the Ambassador, wanted to hear it. According to one of them, members of the Milgroup — the Military Advisory Group at the Embassy — had telephoned the Atlacatl base in La Libertad within a few days of the massacre. The guerrillas, who themselves were packing up and escaping in advance of the operation — including Radio Venceremos, whose members lugged heavy radio equipment as they fled — tried to warn some townspeople to join them. I asked them if I could see my mother, and they said I couldn’t but I should come with them to the playing field” — near the school. Whenever the officers made the decision, it is clear that by the time they reached El Mozote they had ordered a change in tactics. Already in La Tejera, officers disagreed about whether the men should have been spared; according to the guide, Captain Walter Oswaldo Salazar, the company commander, reacted angrily when he was told of a comment from another officer that the local people should be treated with respect unless there was evidence that they were guerrillas. Wipfler, who was the director of the human-rights office of the National Council of Churches, in New York.

Volume 14 Issue 2 Feb , pp. As had happened two decades before, however, the conservatives in the Army almost immediately regained the upper hand, and now, under cover of a more internationally acceptable “reformist” government, they felt free to combat the “Communist agitation” in their own particular way — by intensifying the “dirty war” against the left. You know, a lot of those kids are really good-looking, really cute. Volume 9 Issue 2 Dec , pp. But it should also be remembered because it was not unique. March 29, The judge investigating the El Mozote massacre notifies 18 former military officers of charges against them.

An array of bones lay in the burned sacristy. Then they’d say, ‘Shut up, old woman, what are you crying about?


Meanwhile, the soldiers sat and gazed at the burning house. Decapitation is tiring work, and slow, and more than a hundred men were crammed into that small building. Word of the massacre soon spread beyond El Mozote.

Bonner, in fact, had long ago shrugged off the fears of working in the city of San Caes. The officers’ point was that “not only were they not out there killing civilians but they were fighting for their lives in that very dangerous war zone to protect the civilians from guerrilla atrocities. Retrieved November 4, If among them there proved to be embarrassing incompetents, not to mention murderers and rapists and thieves, then these men were shielded by their classmates, and defended ferociously.

There was a charred wooden beam lying on top of the bodies, stidy there were bones sticking up, and pieces of flesh.

The Massacre of El Mozote: 36 Years of Struggles for Truth and Justice

We are going forth to kill A mountain of terrorists! He did not rush out mosote story on the massacre but included it as the second piece in his series. Dtudy of Accountability Efforts: Survivors were straggling back from the caves and mountain gullies to find the plazas of their ruined villages so thick with vultures that, in the words of one man I talked with, “they seemed covered by a moving black carpet.

The Truth Commission stated in its final report:. Then came mozite civilian followers, loaded down with their casr of clothing and sacks of tortillas and coffee, and nervously hushing their children. But things are changing in El Salvador.

Though she might find herself in extreme dangers, she understood that these were “the rules of the game. Enders went up to Capitol Hill. Bonner agrees that he was not reassigned because of State Department pressure over the El Mozote story.

They were strewn across the earth next to this cornfield, and you could see on their faces the horror of what had happened to them. The war dragged on for more than a decade. The law passed just five days after a truth commission published its report on the conflict, finding evidence of widespread human rights abuses.


Remember El Mozote

Fl, it both proposes some lessons that Christians in the context of the Global North might learn from the memory of El Mozote, and suggests some possible directions for practices of Christian formation to take in order to more fully incorporate the memory of suffering into the lives and consciousness of the faithful. As the repression went on, month after month, it became less and less discriminating.

el mozote case study

Colonel Flores was not particularly happy to see the Americans, and it was clear that his attitude was shared by the other officers they encountered that day. The Americans said they’d like to have a look, talk to some people in and around the town. In his summary the American notes that “the two hours spent with these officers was interesting, to say the least.

Volume 11 Issue 2 Decpp. They made people lie face down and searched them and questioned them about the guerrillas.

El Mozote massacre – Wikipedia

I knew the guerrillas would never have masqueraded something like this, would never have fabricated it, if they were offering safe-conduct. By using the comment function on degruyter.

After the excitement of covering Central America, she had to cover suburban Maryland for the metro desk. Get out here now!

el mozote case study

The campaign intensified dramatically after the “progressive” coup of October,