Late last month, in a crowded courtroom in the eastern part of El Salvador, a small taste of justice was granted to survivors of the worst slaughter of civilians in Latin American history. The courtroom in San Francisco Gotera, in the heart of what had been known as the “conflictive zone” during the years-long civil war in El Salvador (1979 – 1992), heard testimony from a former military commander that, for the first time, tied the Salvadoran government and its armed forces to the El Mozote massacre.
Thirty years ago, as the war still raged, I visited El Mozote in the company of the only survivor, Rufina Amaya. It was one of the most emotionally wrenching experiences I’ve had.
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