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The Massacre at El Mozote


The Massacre at El Mozote took place in El Mozote village in El Salvador during the early 1980s. There were over 800 fatalities that included civilian citizens being killed by members of the Salvadorian Army. While many people are against war of any kind, few wonder if it was really necessary to kill this many people for a reason that seems completely unsound. Most people who died were women, children and senior citizens (old people).

Unfortunately, many who died seem to do under tragic circumstances that seemed inhumane and disgusting. There are still studies and further investigations going on to try and understand why this happened. Even though the massacre occurred in the early 1980s, the El Salvador government apologized for the events in late 2011. The massacre was part of the Salvadoran Civil War and the anti-guerrilla campaign. The El Mozote village was known to provide goods to guerrilla groups that wanted to battle the government of El Salvador. The area was also divided by variations of religious beliefs. The village later learned a war operation would move throughout the area but were convinced they wouldn't be affected.

The Salvadoran Army arrived in the El Mozote village; they had clashed with guerrilla groups in the area. The solders from the Salvadoran army questioned members of the village about guerrillas. Soon after the soldiers began interrogating and torturing the citizens of the village. At one point, the men, women and their children were separated. They took women and children to another area where they raped and killed them. The soldiers then burned the bodies of those they killed. Over a few days the soldiers would rob and shoot the other citizens and then set their bodies on fire.

There were conflicting reports in the media about what happened but Salvadoran leaders denied anything of this natured occurred. Government agencies, including the United States, took years to investigate what happened. There were survivors that gave their stories and there were bones found in the ground at areas where buildings were burned. Human rights abuse was also a subject of interest. At one point the bones and skulls were collected and used as candleholders to remember those who died.

The case is still being investigated with more evidence being found to help learn what happen and how to have those connected be punished.

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