Protests; El Salvador. Killing of nuns in El Salvador

1980-12-09

Group of demonstrators carry signs with slogans such as, "Stop U.S. aid to El Salvador" and "U.S. media distorts truth," on sidewalk in front of unidentified building. "In 1980, four American church women were working with refugees in El Salvador: Ita Ford and Maura Clarke were nuns of the Maryknoll order, Dorothy Kazell was a nun of the Ursuline order and Jean Donovan was a Catholic lay worker, around this time, Catholic nuns and priests received numerous death threats and threats of expulsion from El Salvador ... when the four church women departed from the airport, their vehicle was followed by the National Guardsmen in a military jeep, when the Guardsmen pulled over the church women's vehicle, Sergeant Colindres, who was in charge of the "mission," began interrogating the church women, Colindres then told the Guardsmen that they were to take the church women to an isolated place, one Guardsman reported that he saw Sergeant Colindres make a telephone call and heard him say "muy bien" as if he was receiving orders, after that telephone call, Sergeant Colindres told the guardsman that he had received an order to eliminate the women, Colindres then ordered the Guardsmen to kill the women, one of the Guardsmen asked if there was a written order, to which Sergeant Colindres replied, "tengo instrucciones" ("I have instructions,") the men followed the orders, sexually assaulting and killing the women, early in the morning of December 3, 1980, people from a nearby village found the bodies of the four church women ... after the murders, several investigations were initiated, none of which were effective and several of which appear to have actually covered-up the fact that the order to kill the church women came from higher levels in the Salvadoran military, the four National Guardsmen were tried and convicted of the murders but, despite voluminous evidence that those men had been following specific and direct orders to kill the American women, no further investigation was made, sometime around 1989, García and Vides Casanova, both of whom now hold the rank of General, emigrated to Florida, where they currently reside," from Case History: Ford et al. v. García et al. by Amanda Smith for PBS.


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