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Salvadoran Slaughter

January 16, 1994

I'm appalled at your argument ("The Distant Harm of Salvadoran Slaughter," editorial, Jan. 4) that we should encourage revisions in El Salvador's anti-terrorist policy because if not, the forced emigration will become, in your words, "painful and costly" to the city of Los Angeles. You might as well have argued that we as a nation should have opposed Nazi death camps because if not, thousands of refugees would have flooded Depression-era New York and heaven knows that things were bad enough already without waves of new immigrants.

Your argument is heartless and cruel. Our opposition to the mass homicide of Salvadoran villagers--or any mass killings anywhere in the world--should be solely based on humanitarian grounds. We as a nation should not stand for the slaughter of innocent women and children no matter what the objective. To argue, like your editorial basically does, that if we don't change this practice of village massacres to weed out insurgents, those fleeing the carnage will just move here, horrendously and inhumanely belittles the Salvadorans who have managed to escape with their lives. A murderous military, not innocent bystanders, should be the focus of our outrage.

HECTOR D. CANTU

Santa Barbara

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