2 More El Salvador Ex-Officers to Face Trial in ’81 Massacre


Two ex-military officers, Cols. Roberto Antonio Garay and José Antonio Rodríguez, were notified Thursday that they will join more than a dozen others in being prosecuted for the 1981 El Mozote massacre, a particularly infamous moment from El Salvador’s civil war.

During Thursday’s hearing, the judge said crimes against humanity, including torture, forced disappearance, and forced displacement, were committed by military officers at El Mozote. The judge reopened the investigation after El Salvador’s Supreme Court threw out a 1993 amnesty law that had shielded perpetrators of offenses during the civil war.

Soldiers trained by the U.S. in counterinsurgency tactics entered the area looking for guerrillas but killed civilians. Many of the bodies were put inside a church that was then burned. In one mass grave, the remains of 136 children were found with an average age of 6. Nearly 1,000 rural dwellers were slain by soldiers in the El Mozote massacre over three days in December.

Read more here.