El Mozote case continues

The legal proceedings in the case to hold former military commanders responsible for the 1981 massacre at El Mozote and surrounding villages will continue Thursday and Friday of this week.  New witnesses will be testifying in front of a judge in a courtroom in San Francisco Gotera, Morazan about the events more than 36 years ago.   Their testimony will be added to testimony from other witnesses taken originally in the case before it was shut down by the 1993 amnesty law.

Lawyers representing the victims, who are pushing the case forward, held a press conference earlier in the week to denounce yet again the lack of action by the attorney general in the case and the military's failure to provide any records or information about the historical events.   The victims see an attempt to delay and obfuscate on the part of the defendants:
However, lawyers of Tutela Legal stressed that military authorities of the time cannot claim ignorance due to the high rank they held, including former Defense Minister Jose Guillermo Garcia, former Deputy Minister of Defense Francisco Adolfo Castillo, and former Chief of Staff Rafael Flores Lima. 
"These operations were carried out with air force, artillery, two or three units of infantry, regional commanders, the departmental commander, and members of the High Command. This type of operation is not possible without an order from the Minister or Deputy Minister of Defense and in coordination with the General Staff of the Armed Forces, that is determined by law," said Morales. 
Given the lack of response from the public institutions involved, prosecutors do not rule out taking other measures to procure the information. Prosecutors consider that it is being hidden, because "it is implausible that there is no record, it is only possible if there has been a criminal cover-up of this crime, and that would mean new crimes that have not been investigated," said private accuser, David Morales, former head of the government Human Rights Office.
The trial will resume again at 9:00 on Thursday morning with the testimony of the first of four witnesses.   All of the witnesses are relative of persons who died during the massacre committed by the US-trained Atlacatl Battalion on December 9-11, 1981.   More than 1000 people including hundreds of children were killed in the massacre.