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New York Review of Books Chronicles UWCHR’s El Salvador Research

December 7, 2017

In the New York Review of Books, journalist Jonathan Blitzer profiles UWCHR Director Angelina Godoy and draws on research by our Unfinished Sentences project documenting retired Salvadoran Colonel Sigifredo Ochoa Pérez’s command of army units implicated in war crimes:

Godoy is the director of the university’s human rights center, a small, interdisciplinary body run by a few faculty members, two full-time staffers, and a team of students. For the past four years, the center has been filing public records requests with the CIA, the State Department, and the Pentagon, seeking declassified government cables about the civil war in El Salvador, which the country’s right-wing military fought, with the US’s help, against leftist guerrillas from 1980 to 1992. Some seventy-five thousand Salvadoran civilians died in the fighting, making it one of the US’s ugliest, and bloodiest, cold war interventions. The government cables Godoy’s center was analyzing told the moment-by-moment story of a failed American war effort, narrated by officials who were discovering the sordid truth about their Salvadoran allies.

Read Jonathan Blitzer’s article in the New York Review of Books: ‘My Only Friend Is My Conscience’: Face to Face With El Salvador’s Cold Killer.

As legal developments in El Salvador accelerate on the eve of the anniversary of the infamous El Mozote massacre, we are undeterred in our commitment to seeing justice through. We are driven every day by the courageous example of survivors and advocates who have struggled for decades to honor the truth and achieve accountability for human rights violations in El Salvador.

For further information, browse our UW Libraries FOIA Collection of declassified U.S. Government documents on El Salvador, and follow our Unfinished Sentences project on social media for translations of live testimony from the court investigating the El Mozote massacre, as well as other news about international justice efforts.