Information on a group called 'Defensa Civil.' [SLV3433]

'Defensa Civil' is translated to English as civil defense. It is not a group but rather it is the name of a government policy to counteract guerrilla activities in rural areas [The Continuing Terror (Americas Watch, Washington, D.C., 1985), pp. 81-87.]. According to The Civilian Toll 1986-87 (Americas Watch Report, Washington, D.C., 1987), p. 112, "Civil defense in El Salvador is a very mixed bag. In some areas units are composed of the town bullies; in others they are reluctant "volunteers." In some places, they represent a combination of the two. Historically, civil defense has been responsible for many human tights abuses. The perpetrators of these abuses are rarely brought to justice."

9 January 1990


El Salvador:Information on a massacre in July 1987 in the village of El Volcancillo close to the town La Laguna in the Department of Chalatenango.

IRBDC, Headquarters

El Salvador / human rights / human rights violations

No specific information regarding the aforementioned subject was found in the sources currently available to the IRBDC. However, according to Human Rights in El Salvador (Comisión de Derechos Humanos de El Salvador (CDHES), San Salvador, 1987), in the month of July 1987, there was one bombing in the Department of Chalatenango. There was no mentioned of any specific village.

Also, the Salvadoran newspaper El Mundo, reported on July 23, 1987 the detention of a group of 'campesinos' carried out purportedly by soldiers in the Cantón de Los Prados de La Laguna. ["Piden Investigar Atropellos", El Mundo, July 3, 1987, p.3.]

The New York Times reported on June 22, 1987 that "The three peasants whose throats were slashed last week are now recovering in a hospital here, where they were interviewed. All three, who are from near the village of La Laguna in Chalatenango Department, said that soldiers attacked them and that they believed the soldiers belonged to either the Fourth Brigade of the Belloso battalion." ["Salvador Army Brutality I Said To Rise", The New York Times, June 22, 1987.]