Skip to main content

Center for Human Rights - Celebrating 15 Years! Students • Partners • Research

Declassified cables reveal US knowledge of El Salvador atrocities

December 10, 2015

During October and November of 1981, U.S. officials received reports of the slaughter of civilians by the Salvadoran military. Now known as the La Quesera massacre, this marked a new phase in the military’s strategy, leading over the next few months to a series of atrocities including the Santa Cruz and El Mozote massacres. Newly declassified documents released to the UW Center for Human Rights show how U.S. officials reacted to these disturbing reports. Read the full report via our Unfinished Sentences project!

This report is the latest product of the UWCHR’s Freedom of Information work in support of partners in El Salvador. The Salvadoran NGO Asociación Pro-Búsqueda is working to locate more than a dozen children disappeared during the La Quesera massacre. University of Washington Students working with the UWCHR documented these disappearances earlier this year, producing a short documentary titled “Still Searching: The Disappeared Children of the La Quesera Massacre.”