Left Menu
Development News Edition

Salvadoran general admits army carried out infamous 1981 massacre

Salvadoran general admits army carried out infamous 1981 massacre
Representative image Image Credit: Flickr

A retired Salvadoran general on Friday acknowledged for the first time that the armed forces were responsible for a notorious 1981 massacre of more than 1,000 people during the country's civil war.

Juan Rafael Bustillo, a former commander of the Air Force, told a court the elite Atlacatl Battalion carried out the El Mozote massacre in eastern El Salvador in which unarmed villagers, most of them women and children, were slaughtered. According to a U.N. report, soldiers tortured and executed over 1,000 residents of El Mozote and surrounding hamlets in the Morazan department, 180 km (110 miles) northeast of San Salvador, as they searched for guerrillas in December 1981.

At a court hearing in the eastern town of San Francisco Gotera in Morazan, Bustillo testified he had had no part in the operation which he said was conducted at the behest of Colonel Domingo Monterrosa, commander of the feared Atlacatl Battalion. "War sometimes gives rise to something in the minds of people that attaches no value to the lives of others. I think it was on his initiative (Monterrosa's)," Bustillo said.

"That's my reasoning, it was on his initiative that he gave the order to kill the people of El Mozote, and the other surrounding cantons," the retired general told the court. "I almost feel it was like a moment, some instance of madness on the part of Colonel Monterrosa to have committed that offense because it was an offense," he added.

Monterrosa, a highly regarded officer in his day, died in 1984 during a helicopter explosion in the east of the country. The 1980-1992 civil war, which pitted leftist guerrillas against the U.S.-backed Salvadoran army, lead to the deaths of an estimated 75,000 people and left 8,000 more missing.

In 2016, a judge ordered the case of the El Mozote massacre to be re-opened. Sixteen military officials including ex-defense minister Guillermo Garcia are being tried over the killings. Representatives of the victims hailed Bustillo's testimony.

"General Bustillo has confirmed many of the excesses demonstrated by evidence and which were denounced by victims," David Morales, one of the victims' lawyers, told reporters. "He fully accepts that this massacre was carried out."

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Download The Devdiscourse News App for Latest News.



Future of Food: Technology fostering the road to global food security

Technological innovation can help address most of the pressing issues facing the world today including food security by enhancing productivity, improving financial services, managing resources, addressing environmental concerns, etc....

Conspiracy theories on COVID 19: Legislators, Scientists, and Journalists all joined the Caravan

Conspiracy theories are not new for virus epidemics. There have been conspiracy theories on HIV-AIDS, Polio Vaccines, Ebola Virus, and several other diseases as well. However, what makes the 2019 Novel Coronavirus different from others is ...

Now it’s a war, Uganda deploys army to combat locust swarms

Its for the first time after 1986, the locust swarms have attacked Uganda twice in a season. With the increasing number of countries of Africa under attack by locust swarms, the problem seems to have taken a regional paradigm. Its very diff...

Top 10 Fake News, Myths and Realities on 2019 Novel Coronavirus COVID 19

With nearly 1500 deaths by January 14 and around 65,000 infections in China, the Novel Coronavirus 2019 has become one of the worst health epidemics of the 21st Century. However, 8,573 people have been cured but the rumor mongers are a...


Latest News

UPDATE 7-Earthquake in Turkey-Iran border region kills 9, injures more than 100

Nine people were killed and buildings collapsed across southeastern Turkey on Sunday when a magnitude 5.7 earthquake struck near the border with Iran, injuring more than a hundred in villages and towns in both countries, government official...

Germany's SPD biggest party in Hamburg state vote, Merkel's party third

Germanys Social Democrats SPD won most support in a vote in the northern city of Hamburg on Sunday and Chancellor Angela Merkels conservatives came third in the first electoral test since her protegee gave up ambitions for the top job.Exit ...

UPDATE 1-Kuroda says BOJ will be "fully prepared" to act on virus risk

The Bank of Japan will be fully prepared to take necessary action to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus on the worlds third-largest economy, its Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said. Kuroda said there was no major change to the BOJs projection...

Govt to provide all possible help to cooperatives: Nitish

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday assured all help to the states cooperatives and thePrimary Agricultural Credit Society. I have come here to listen to your problems... Wewill try to provide all possible help. Various cooperatives...

Give Feedback