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The World : 2 Salvador Killers Freed

December 15, 1987

Salvadoran Judge Rosa Maria Fortin granted amnesty to two soldiers convicted of the 1981 murder of two American labor advisers, Michael Peter Hammer and Mark David Perlman, and an El Salvador union leader. Amnesty also was granted to Capt. Eduardo Ernesto Avila, the man who allegedly ordered the killings, even though he was never convicted. The amnesty for the two army privates, currently serving 30-year prison terms, was the second within two weeks for military personnel accused of murdering Americans in El Salvador. Earlier, former national guardsmen convicted of killing three U.S. nuns and a Catholic lay worker in 1980 were released from prison. In both instances, officials said that amnesty was in line with the five-nation Central American peace plan that calls on each of the countries to grant amnesty to prisoners convicted of political crimes.

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