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U.N. Salvador report prompts U.S. criticism.

WASHINGTON - In light of the U.N. Truth Commission's report on El Salvador, the U.S. should end all military aid to the Central American nation, Massachusetts Democrat Rep. Joe Moakley said last week.

"It is my personal view that no further U.S. military aid should be delivered or obligated to El Salvador as long as senior military officers named in both the Truth Commission and the Ad Hoc Commission reports remain in uniform," said Moakley. The report named Gen. Rene Emilio Ponce and four other members of the High Command as officers responsible for the Jesuit murders.

Moakley headed the 1989-92 Speaker's Task Force on El Salvador charged with monitoring the investigation of the 1989 murders of six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter. He said the report confirmed his long-held belief that the military high command had been involved in the murders.

In a statement issued last week, the U.S. Jesuit Conference said: "As long as they remain in office, Ponce and his coconspirators are living symbols of a Salvadoran military which cannot be held accountable for even the most heinous human rights violations."

"President Cristiani's call today for an immediate amnesty for all those accused by the Truth Commission is premature unless and until the accused somehow indicate that they accept responsibility for those crimes," the statement said.

Thomas Quigley of the U.S. Catholic Conference said the intellectual authors of crimes committed in El Salvador must continue to be identified.

"As in Argentina and Chile, the first thing the church insisted is that the truth be known, not covered up," said Quigley, the bishops' Latin American adviser.

According to former U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador Robert White, "The whole backdrop to the report that is missing is the U.S. role in not only tolerating violence in El Salvador but also encouraging it." White is president of the Center for International Policy.

Said Cindy Buhl of the Central American Working Group, "The commission findings are no surprise to the Reagan-Bush policymakers who knew human rights crimes were occurring in El Salvador but denied the truth." The Working Group is a coalition of 45 national religious and human rights organizations.

"The report of the commission reminds us that peace consolidation is far from over," said Heather Foot, Washington representative for the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee.

"The daily exercise of democracy, including investigatory and judicial procedures that function for the average Salvadoran, will require full implementation of commission recommendations."

Said legislative coordinator Bonnie Tenneriello of the Washington Office on Latin America, "The Truth Commission report only underlies how important it is to comply with the Peace Accord Ad Hoc Commission recommendations to purge the military."
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Title Annotation:El Salvador death squads investigation
Author:Vidulich, Dorothy
Publication:National Catholic Reporter
Date:Mar 26, 1993
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