The Massacre at El Mozote as told by Mark Danner takes place El Salvador. El Salvador is the smallest country in Central America. It shares borders with Guatemala and Honduras. El Salvador is divided into 14 departments and El Mozote is a village in one of the Departments called Morazan. According to the author, the Salvadoran Civil War 1979-1992 was a conflict waged by the Military led Government of El Salvador and coalition of left-leaning militias or guerillas called the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN).The FMLN was supported by peasants and indigenous Indian people. The United States supported the El Salvador Military government.
The tensions between the classes, the halves and the halve-nots are therefore represented
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The Cold War was about ideology and the El Salvador Army believed it was “killing Salvadorans who were sympathetic to the insurgents” (pg 53). The El Salvador Army with the support of American resources violated the rules of war in killing an entire village “without trial or investigation, simply because of the political sympathies of some of their number” (pg 53). The killings carried out by the Atlacatl Batallion in El Mozote were not justice but a contravention of Human Rights.
The massacre was reported by Washington Post and the New York times as told to them by Rufina Amaya Marquez, a witness of what had occurred at El Mozote. The response by the American government to news of the massacre was first denial and then portrayal of those reports as “Propaganda” by “journalist advocates” sympathetic to the guerillas cause. As the author notes, the geopolitical stakes in Central America and ensuing debate in congress did not leave the White House many options albeit cable reports and first witness accounts of the massacre in El Mozote and La Joya. According to Howard Lane, the Public Affairs Officer in the Embassy, the American Embassy was well informed as to who was orchestrating the killings especially after the murder of Archbishop Oscar Romero as he said Mass (pg 28). The first reports from radio Venceremos estimated Atlacatl as having “massacred a thousand