El Salvador: The Jury's Still Out

The Jury's Still Out

The declaration lasted only five minutes, but it may turn out to be the most important five minutes of President Alfredo Cristiani's career. On national television last week, Cristiani admitted, "It has been determined that there is involvement of some elements of the armed forces" in last November's slaying of six Jesuit priests.

Cristiani had little choice but to pursue a vigorous investigation. In the past, the few human-rights cases that have been prosecuted resulted in the conviction of only low-level military personnel. This time an irate U.S. Congress, which is considering $387 million in military and economic aid to San...