March 13, 1993 |
The most powerful military man in El Salvador offered his resignation Friday, on the eve of the limited release of a damning human rights report that is expected to name him and dozens of other army officers in connection with some of the worst atrocities of this nation's 12-year civil war. The resignation of Defense Minister Gen. Rene Emilio Ponce comes as a major blow to the government of President Alfredo Cristiani.
November 17, 1991 |
A U.S. probe into the 1989 killings of six Jesuit priests has concluded that there is evidence the crime was plotted by senior Salvadoran army officers, including the defense minister, a newspaper reported today. The inquiry by a panel of House Democrats concluded that Gen. Rene Emilio Ponce--the current defense minister and former army chief of staff--and other top officers planned the attack a day before it happened, the New York Times reported.
January 12, 1990 |
The investigation into the killing of six Jesuit priests has caused serious tensions in El Salvador's powerful military, with the confinement of two colonels in connection with the case--one as a suspect and another who allegedly fingered the suspect to U.S. officials. Col. Guillermo Alfredo Benavides, who was responsible for the zone where the killings took place, has been confined to his base at the Gen. Gerardo Barrios Military School, according to military and civilian sources.
June 11, 1989 |
A near-violent confrontation in which a Salvadoran army colonel ordered his troops to aim a loaded antitank weapon at U.S. Ambassador William G. Walker has led to the expectation by the American Embassy here that El Salvador's military leaders will send the officer out of the country--or face a damaged relationship. Walker has refused to discuss the incident. But according to various sources here and in Washington, it took place May 2 in the eastern province of Sonsonate and involved Col. Jesus Caseres, the volatile commander of the area's military garrison and a military-school classmate of the armed forces chief of staff, Col. Rene Emilio Ponce.
June 1, 1989 |
President-elect Alfredo Cristiani's handling of key decisions concerning the military and his Cabinet in the days before his inauguration today has raised serious concerns among diplomats and officials about his ability to control radical hard-line elements in his own party and the armed forces. Cristiani had gained support among Salvadoran moderates, the Bush Administration and even U.S. congressional liberals by arguing that he has the will and the strength to control the ultra-right wing of his party, the Nationalist Republican Alliance.
February 10, 1989
Despite a last-minute offer by Marxist guerrillas to talk directly with the government, El Salvador's army chief of staff as well as President Jose Napoleon Duarte indicated that there is almost no chance that they would accept a rebel peace plan to end nine years of civil war. The Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front said it will send a high-ranking delegation to San Salvador to discuss the plan. But Col.