As readers of this blog know, legal proceedings are currently advancing in Spain against participants in the 1989 murders of the six Jesuits. In that proceeding, documents from the US government files, some of which were previously classified, are being submitted to the Spanish court. The Spanish newspaper El Mundo has examined those documents, and reports that the documents have proof that the US government knew in advance what the Salvadoran military was planning:
EL MUNDO has learned that among the papers that will be submitted to the Audiencia Nacional there is information which documents, in a direct manner, that the military chief at the U.S. Embassy in El Salvador, Col. Milton Menjivar, and a senior U.S. State Department official knew what the Salvadoran military high command was planning against the rector of the UCA.
I have not seen the documents, nor has any other news source reported on their contents. Assuming the paper's report is right, this is a major new revelation, suggesting at best that the US had little influence over the actions of the Salvadoran military and, perhaps, that the US government was complicit in the murders by its willful inaction.
Without seeing the documents, and since the El Mundo article is quite silent about the actual language of the documents, I think we have to wait and see if there is verification of this charge.
One new document which El Mundo and ContraPunto did publish is a handwritten memo of a meeting of the Armed Forces General Staff, on November 15, 1989, the day before the murder of the Jesuits:
The memo shows General René Emilio Ponce gave the order to proceed to the "elimination" of Ignacio Elacuria, "without witnesses."
Documents from the US government files were collected by the National Security Archive, and have been utilized in the Spanish court proceeding:
MADRID – Declassified CIA documents show that the 1989 massacre of six Jesuit priests in El Salvador followed three days of planning by senior Salvadoran military officers, an expert witness said on Tuesday before Spain’s National Court, which is hearing a case brought on behalf of the slain clerics.
The documents were introduced by Terry Karl, professor of Latin American studies at California’s Stanford University, who said the probe of the Jesuits’ murder must be pursued “to shatter the impunity that still exists in El Salvador.”...
Plaintiffs’ attorneys said the documents submitted to the court on Tuesday show that Salvadoran senior officers began planning the assassination of Ellacuria and his comrades on Nov. 13, 1989.
They said the package includes the record of a meeting between Cristiani and the then-defense minister, Gen. Rafael Humnero Larios, at general staff headquarters – “just 500 meters (yards)” from the UCA administration building – the night before the massacre.