The murder of four American churchwomen focused attention on the United States’ involvement in El Salvador. Decades later, the case continues to take surprising turns.

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The Murder of US Churchwomen in El Salvador That Exposed a Government Coverup

In 1980, four American churchwomen, working as missionaries, were raped and then murdered in El Salvador. The killings created a storm of protest in the United States, revealed the brutality of the civil war in El Salvador and raised awareness about America’s policies in Central America. Now, the families of the slain churchwomen are still hoping to find justice — this time in American immigration courts.

Laying Out a Case for Deporting Human Rights Abusers by Clyde Haberman
Massacre in El Salvador produced with PBS, Frontline and ProPublica
Remembrance of a Massacre — El Mozote: Foreward by Raymond Bonner, photographs by Susan Meiselas
First-Hand Account: Lessons From the El Mozote Massacre by Clyde Haberman
The High Price of Doing Journalism in El Salvador by Nelson Rauda

TranscriptLesson Plan

More on the Story

The Diplomat and the KillerThe Atlantic
Deportation of Former Salvadoran Official Is UpheldThe New York Times
2015 Edward R. Murrow Award WinnersRTDNA
U.S. Wants Former Salvadoran Ally to Face Justice in 1989 MassacreThe New York Times
What Archbishop Romero's Beatification Means For El Salvador
U.S. Deports Salvadoran General Accused in ’80s KillingsThe New York Times
Robert E. White, Ex-Ambassador to Latin America, Dies at 88
Retro Report: The Holy Killings That Rocked U.S. Foreign PolicyThe Takeaway
Related Coverage
Laying Out a Case for Deporting Human Rights AbusersThe New York Times
Bringing El Salvador Nun Killers to JusticeThe Daily Beast
The U.S. hindered justice for a group of brutally murdered U.S. nuns, Retro Reports reminds usThe Week
Four churchwomen and their killers, nearly thirty-five years laterCommonweal Magazine