6. The Reagan administration on the the El Mozote massacre
|“There is no evidence to confirm that [US-supported El Salvador] government forces systematically massacred civilians in the [El Mozote] operations zone.”
—Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Enders, February 8, 1982
The US initially denied that the American-supported right-wing government of El Salvador massacred roughly 800 innocent villagers in a counterinsurgency campaign against left-wing guerillas. The massacre was one of the deadliest incidents of the proxy battles the US engaged in throughout the world during the final decades of the Cold War. Enders made the statement above roughly a week after eyewitness accounts of the murders appeared in major American newspapers.