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The Acts of the Democracies
Death squads continue to be active in El Salvador, a country backed and financed by the USA. Many victims are decapitated and the heads left in different areas from the body to be seen by passers by. Thousands are kidnapped and tortured. Aid workers and priests are killed. Within a few years over 70,000 people will have died.
One of the best known victims is Monsignor Oscar Arnulfo Romero y Gald�mez, Archbishop of San Salvador. He is assassinated while celebrating mass on 24 March 1980 in the chapel of the Divine Providence Hospital, San Salvador. He had become an outspoken critic of human rights violations and a leading human rights defender. In March 1980 he had written to the President of the USA asking the USA not to provide military assistance to El Salvador which might be used to perpetrate human rights violations. He is killed shortly afterwards. USA aid to El Salvador is $523 million in 1980.
Roberto D'Aubuisson, who had studied unconventional warfare in the USA, states: "... Jesuit priests are the worst scum of all". It is believed that he is behind the White Warriors Union, whose slogan is "Be patriotic - kill a priest".
The USA made film Salvador shows events during this period.
The head of El Salvador's armed forces, Jose Guillermo Garcia, and his successor, General Carlos Eugenio Vides Casanova, both later retire to live in the USA (Florida). In 2002, both would be ordered to pay compensation to their victims by a USA court.