A Letter From The Publisher: Mar. 22, 1982

When TIME Correspondent James Willwerth went to Mexico City in the fall of 1980, he anticipated a fairly quiet tour of duty. Says he: "I foresaw a few stories about the Mexican oil boom, an occasional look at Nicaragua's revolution, and a side trip or two to report on Mayan ruins." He was wrong. "I had been in the region a few weeks," he recalls, "when death squads in El Salvador wiped out the entire leadership of the only center-left group trying to work within that country's system. A few days later, Salvadoran national guardsmen murdered three American nuns and a...

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