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El Mozote - A Quick Refresher
It's not a serious professional mistake! It is a war-crime!
In 1981, El Salvador had a few rich people who owned most of the land, and a large number of people who were very poor. Teachers, priests, labor leaders tried to elect a socialist leader that had popular support amongst the many.
Naturally, the U.S. didn't like that (think of all the Banana prices). The US armed a terrible military dictatorship, whose recruiting slogan was “Be a Patriot, Kill a Priest” in El Salvador. On January 14, 1981, the CARTER administration resumed aid to the death squads in El Salvador, as a final act, before they left.
One of the right-wing special forces called Atlacatl Battalion (AB),similar to green berets, were trained, armed and funded by the U.S in Fort Bragg
On the afternoon of December 10, 1981, AB came to El Mozote, a small village in the north of El Salvador. AB were allegedly given intelligence that the FMLN rebels were hiding there. The soldiers forced everyone to leave their house in order to carry a search mission for FMLN.
Overnight, AB told everyone to lock themselves in their homes and if anyone came out while they "searched for rebels" (who weren't there), they would shoot. The poor villagers diligently obeyed them in hopes that they would leave as soon as they found the “rebels." The next morning, AB brought out all the men, took them in a church and started torturing them and asked them where the rebels were.
Rufina Amaya, one of the lucky (or perhaps very unlucky) ones, survived the massacre. She described in vivid detail what she saw: the AB beheaded her blind husband. She also heard her son’s last words as she helplessly stood by: “Mama, they are killing me. They’ve killed my sister. They are going to kill me.”
AB also took all the girls, some as young as eight, to the edge of the village and raped them. After raping them, they killed them all and burned their bodies.
In 1992, an Argentinian forensic team discovered the bodies. In December of 1981, Radio Venceremos did report the massacre. Until then, the US government lied and claimed that they had no idea of the massacre and blamed Cuba and Nicaragua’s communist government for "arming the rebels”