Wednesday, December 01, 2004

More on Soto murder

La Prensa featured on its web site today a story about a US delegation which travelled to El Salvador in connection with the Soto murder investigation. Linda Sanchez, a Congresswoman from California, and officials from the Teamsters and AFL-CIO arrived in El Salvador on November 30 and were met with top level officials including the attorney general, the Salvadoran ambassador to Washington, the foreign minister and the head of the national police. Such a high-level delegation on the Salvadoran side would seem to show their concern that this muder might be a roadblock to approval of CAFTA.

This article is the longest and most prominent one to run yet in the Salvadoran press. It ran under the headline "Union Pressure From United States."

The second part of the article contains more details about the murder itself, and more particularly, the bungling attempts by the police to secure the crime scene. For example, according to Soto's relatives, one officer picked up and carried away a bicycle which had been ridden by one of the assassins (because he liked it and not because he realized it was evidence). When he realized his error, it was no longer possible to know the prior location of the bicycle where footprints of the subjects might have been found. Detectives did not arrive at the scene until more than 4 hours after the murder. Soto's family members theorize that this bungling of the police has led authorities to promote the theories of a family squabble or common variety crime, rather than the political motives which the family is convinced lie behind the killing.

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