CELEBRATING a memorial Mass to mark the fifth anniversary of the murder of Archbishop Oscar Romero of San Salvador, his successor has demanded that "his death be clarified and those guilty punished". Archbishop Arturo Rivera y Damns told 6,000 mourners in a packed Sin Salvador Cathedral that there could be no peace in the country until the truth about the killing emerged.
Archbishop Rivera's comments came after a week in which the former head of Salvadoran military intelligence, Col Roberto Santivanez, has revealed that the killing of Oscar Romero was ordered by a group of officers, including General Vides Casanova, the present defence minister, and was financed by wealthy Miamibased Salvadoran exiles who objected to the Archbishop's outspoken condemnation of human rights abuses and his defence of the poor.
The murder, which took place on March 24, 1980, as Archbishop Romero said Mass in a hospital chapel, was directed by Col Ricado Lan, who later became the chief of intelligence. for the US backed "contra" rebels in Nicaragua, and was carried out by two former Nicaraguan National Guardsmen with the support of Salvadoran military personnel, Col Sant ivanez said. Also implicated in his testimony in Washington, was Major Roberto d'Aubuisson, who now heads the right-wing ANFNA party which will run in next week's Salvadoran legislative elections. Major d'Aubuisson organised the activities of the right-wing death squads, Col Santivanez said.
When he was elected as President last year, Jose' Napoleon Duarte promised to launch a full investigation into thee murder of Archbishop Romero, but so far the commission he established in June of last year has yet to call a single witness.
editorial, page four