The Truth Unearthed

Investigators find evidence of El Salvador's worst civil-war massacre

GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS AND THEIR U.S. PATRONS repeatedly denied it. But when a team of forensic anthropologists excavated nearly 60 of several hundred battered skeletons from around a demolished church in what was once an F.M.L.N. guerrilla stronghold, they found convincing evidence of what some journalists and human-rights activists have said for years: as many as 800 civilians, most of them women and children, were mutilated, burned and < murdered in and around the remote northeastern town of El Mozote in 1981, by soldiers from the Salvadoran army's U.S.-trained Atlacatl Battalion.

The victims' relatives want those responsible tried for murder, even though...

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