Death Squads Invade California

Salvadoran rightists are accused of terrorizing refugees

The anonymous letter sent to Father Luis Olivares' Los Angeles church earlier this month bore only the cryptic initials E.M., but its message was alarmingly clear. In El Salvador the letters are short for esquadron de la muerte, a vicious right-wing death squad whose modus operandi is to warn its intended victims that they have been marked for torture or assassination because they are suspected of sympathizing with antigovernment guerrillas. Now Olivares and the estimated 600,000 Salvadorans who have fled to the U.S. to escape the homicidal politics of their homeland fear that the death squads have invaded Southern California.