Salvadoran leader apologizes for bishop's killing
Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero, a human rights proponent who spoke out against repression by the Salvadoran army, was gunned down March 24, 1980, as he celebrated Mass in a hospital chapel.
Shortly before, Romero challenged soldiers from the pulpit to stop their repression in a famous address, declaring that "no soldier is obligated to obey a law against the law of God."
President Mauricio Funes said Romero was killed by right-wing death squads "who unfortunately acted with the protection, collaboration or participation of state agents."
"These illegal armed groups terrorized the civilian population during those dark years, leaving behind thousands of victims," Funes said, unveiling a mural commemorating Romero at the international airport outside the capital,
Nobody has been convicted for Romero's killing.
In 1993, a U.N.-sponsored truth commission determined that the assassination was ordered by a former army major and Maj. Roberto D'Abuisson, founder of the Nationalist Republican Alliance party. D'Abuisson had died the year before. But an amnesty law was passed shortly before those findings were made public.
The Nationalist Republican Alliance, or Arena, governed
Funes, elected last year, said his government accepts that the investigation uncovered "the truth in the case of the assassination of Monsignor Romero."
Funes' leftist party, the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front, is an outgrowth of the rebel movement that fought U.S.-backed right-wing governments for 12 years before laying down arms in 1992 and becoming a political party. The civil war caused more than 75,000 deaths.
Thousands of Salvadorans gathered Wednesday to remember and honor Romero at the church were he was killed.
Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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People carry posters with the image of Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero while participating in a rally to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Monsignor Oscar Arnulfo Romero's death ,
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