U.S. may have had knowledge of Salvadoran killings

November 09, 1993|By New York Times News Service

WASHINGTON -- Newly released intelligence reports provide powerful evidence that the Reagan and Bush administrations collected detailed information about assassinations conducted by right-wing leaders in El Salvador in the 1980s but continued to work with them nonetheless.

The reports go far beyond the sketchy accounts of possible links between political killings and leaders like Roberto d'Aubuisson that were provided to Congress at the time.

Some 12,000 documents were released under pressure from Congress. They show that the Bush and Reagan administrations received intelligence reports that the Salvadoran military, which received $1 billion in U.S. military aid to fight leftist guerrillas between 1980 and 1991, was dominated throughout the decade by officers who either ordered or took part in death squad activities at some time in their careers.

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