Central America Grave Encounters

Duarte confronts the left, the right and Archbishop Romero's ghost

The day death came for the Archbishop cuts deep into the soul of El Salvador. At 6 p.m. on March 24, 1980, Oscar Arnulfo Romero, the Archbishop of San Salvador and an outspoken critic of the military terrorism that was ravaging the country, was celebrating Mass in the small, humid chapel of the Hospital of Divine Providence. As he delivered his sermon, a gunshot shattered the calm of the ceremony. The Archbishop toppled to the floor, his heart pierced by a single bullet. Blood stained the white altar cloth. Bending down to give the gray-haired prelate a final kiss, a nun...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!