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El Salvador #295984

CBS Evening News for Wednesday, Mar 21, 1984
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(Studio) Pol. obstacle to President Reagan's policy in El Salvador noted presence there of right-wing death squads.
REPORTER: Dan Rather

(DC) Former high-ranking Salvadoran official reported claiming paid informer of CIA operated his nation's death squads. [INFORMER (thru translator) - discusses death squad direction by CIA-backed Salvadoran government officials such as Colonel Nicholas Carranza.] Carranza `s role as chief of Salvadoran treasurer police noted. Informant's role in Salvadoran government and his assistance in United States under sponsorship of critics of Reagan administration's Salvadoran policy outlined. [INFORMANT (thru translator) - recalls Roberto D'Aubuisson's role in death squads under long-standing CIA employee Carranza; doesn't believe CIA actually ordered specific assassinations; cites general control in designating most death squad victims under D'Aubuisson, his orders for certain assassinations.] Informant's claim of D'Aubuisson's direct involvement in murders of Archbishop Oscar Romero and 2 United States labor advisers and belief that murders of 4 American churchwomen were work of national guard, not official death squads, discussed. [INFORMANT - alleges Colonel Oscar Eduardo Casanova ordered churchwomen's murders.] Casanova noted cousin of present defense minister Vides Casanova who at the time was head of national guard. [INFORMANT - (thru translator) claims Carlos Vides Casanova was aware of cousin's order to kill nuns and arrange cover-up; feels then-President Jose Napoleon Duarte must have been aware of cover-up of nuns' murders; explains.] D'Aubuisson's denial of role in death squads and State Department's response to informant's story noted; deputy assistant secretary state for Latin American affairs Craig Johnstone's denial that Casanova was involved in nuns' murders or that Duarte participated in cover-up mentioned. CIA said refusing to confirm or deny Carranza's relationship with them. Senator Paul Tsongas' relationship with informant and stance on his credibility cited.
REPORTER: Walter Cronkite

Cronkite, Walter;
Rather, Dan

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