Analysis Of Mark Danner 's The Salvadoran Civil War

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Throughout history mankind has proved itself to be capable of many horrifying actions and atrocities on its own people. One such event occurred inside and in the proximity of the village of El Mozote, in Morazán, El Salvador, on December 11, 1981, when the Salvadoran Army killed more than 800 civilians in the course of the Salvadoran Civil War. To truly understand the complexity of this event and its impact/place in history author Mark Danner has complied an in-depth assessment of this incident (expanding on his original investigation which appeared in the publication The New Yorker) and attempts to decipher how and why the truth of this matter was hidden from the public, due to the United States’ entanglement in Cold War politics.…show more content…
This intense feud would soon involve the lives of all individuals living in the country, as the military would routinely and systematically execute any alleged rebels, while the FMLN sought to cut power lines, destroy bridges, tear down coffee plantations and remove any other industrial materials that supported or funded government activities. It was the violent nature of this conflict which would instigate attacks such as the one on El Mozote. In early 1981 a special branch of the El Salvadoran army entitled the “Atlacatl Battalio” was created utilizing soldiers from the current military. These elite units were specifically trained for counter-insurgency (guerilla) warfare, and were directed to seek out and destroy any guerilla activity. Due to methods used in guerilla-type warfare, this division was established as the first unit of this nature in the Salvadoran armed forces and was specifically trained by United States military advisors brought in to oversee preparation (266). This specialized unit was created for a specific mission, Operación Rescate ("Operation Rescue"), in which the primary aim was to “prevent the establishment of an insurgent zone in Morazan, which could lead to international recognition of the insurgents as a belligerent force” and thus possible receive military aid from sympathetic nations(32). Prior to entering El Mozote, this military group been conducting interrogations (few with executions coinciding) in nearby villages in order
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