The White Hands of Death

Can the new President curb his country's murder squads?

He seems the very model of military rectitude. Sitting straight as a dagger behind his steel desk, hands clasped in front of him and mustache neatly trimmed, Sergeant José Antonio Rivas explains that he is the "maximum authority" in Metalio, a Salvadoran seaside village of 6,000. Several members of his ten-man army unit listen, fingering their weapons, as Rivas boasts that Metalio remains untouched by his country's cyclones of violence. "This is a very peaceful place," he says with a smile, his gold-capped teeth...

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