[back] El Mozote massacre
The Massacre at El Mozote: A Parable of the Cold War
a book by Mark Danner
Reportage resists easy definition and comes in many forms - travel essay, narrative history, autobiography - but at its finest it reveals hidden truths about people and events that have shaped the world we know. This new series, hailed as 'a wonderful idea' by Don DeLillo, both restores to print and introduces for the first time some of the greatest works of the genre. In December 1981, the inhabitants of a small Salvadoran hamlet were systematically exterminated by the Atacatl Battalion, a U.S.-trained counter insurgency force. The Reagan administration, determined to preserve U.S. support for El Salvador's war against leftist guerrillas, downplayed reports of this massacre dismissing them as propaganda, and the American-funded war in El Salvador continued. But Mark Danner's subsequent reconstruction is a masterpiece of scrupulous investigative journalism and a testament to the forgotten victims of one of the worst massacres in Latin American history.