The Sydney Morning Herald from Sydney, New South Wales, Australia on March 15, 1982 · Page 9
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The Sydney Morning Herald from Sydney, New South Wales, Australia · Page 9

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Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Issue Date:
Monday, March 15, 1982
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Page 9
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Page 9 WORLD NEWS ? Wedding journey ends in bloodshed SAN SALVADOR, Sunday. Margarita Cordoba, IS, was to have married a sergeant in the Salvadorean Army yesterday. Instead, with her wedding dress caked in blood, the helped to bury him along with 42 other people killed in a Leftist guerilla ambush near the northern frontier city of Chalatenango, (Colonel Jose Dionlslo Hernan-Xkt commander of the Chalatc-omgo military garrison, described Jjli&y'j ambush as the worst set-tack' suffered by the Army in recent months. "Nine soldiers were killed and . 15 wounded," he told reporters. He aid 20 civilians and 14 guerillas also died in the four-hour battle, close to the border with Honduras, , Margarita, ' who ' told repor-ters she was an orphan, was one of the lucky survivors. .'; r,. - vm. . "I was thinking of my Wedding when the explosions' and gunfire erupted," she said. She was still wearing what was to have been her wedding outfit a short red dress how tattered and torn and daubed with dried blood. Eighteen of the. dead civilians' were buried in a common grave at the -Chalatenango public cemetery ' about 80km north of San Salvador. The , burial site was marked, by four white crosses. .' Colonel Hernandez said about 300 guerillas ambushed a military convoy, consisting of three trucks ' and an armoured personnel carrier. , He said the convoy was bringing back about 85 soldiers for rest and recreation at Chalatenango after a 15-day tour of duty near the Honduran border. On the last truck was Margarita. She was one of about 50 civilians who had asked for a lift to the .Cily.:. ."'"' .. "The' guerillas picked a perfect . ambush site," the colonel said. "On one side of the narrow road was a steep precipice, on the other a hill from where the well-entrenched guerillas fired at wilt. ' 'W6 were like sitting - ducks. We could not move , because the road was mined." . . ; He said about 20 soldiers, "the ordy ones we had left at the garrison," were flown by helicopter to commanding positions on the hill and they , helped to beat off the attack. Another survivor, Pascula Orel-lana Pineda, 52, said she had asked for a lift in the convoy to take a sick relative to hospital in Chalatenango. . , "I should have stayed home because then he (the relative) would still be alive today," she said. (AAP-Reuter) The Sydney Morning Herald, Monday, March 15, 1982 Reagan said to have approved CIA action .:.J.' WASHINGTON, Sunday. President Reagan has approved ' "clandestine operations by the CIA against what the Administration describes as Cuban arms 'supply lines in Nicaragua and elsewhere in Central America, '"according to Administration offi-," cials and Congressional sources. : Some of these secret actions, " such as providing millions of dol- . lars to what are called progressive 'iind Left-of Centre groups and ' individuals in a number of "countries, are said to be under way already. 'Uv Others, such as a paramilitary i. operation against what the Admini- ' stratton says are arms supply ,,'xoiites from Nicaragua to El Salvador, are still in the discussion stage 'with Latin American Governments . friendly to the United States, i according to the officials. .The officials said the discussions were snagged, particularly with Ar- -gentina, over the aims of the para-; military operation and the make-up . of the force. Although Argentina wants to . centre the talks on overthrowing .the . Nicaraguan Government, the "CIA seeks to focus attention on "the Cuban presence in the country, '..the' officials said. )'.Jn addition, Argentina reported-',Ijr wants to include supporters of j. the) deposed Nicaraguan Govern-' ment of General Somoza in the force, while the CIA is said to be trying to exclude them, i s.'It is not known whether the CIA 'Tmist return to the President for . authorisation to proceed with the actual creation of a paramilitary ,&rce once arran cements have been 'reached with other Latin American ..nations. The officials and other sources JC;i!Bht to discredit earlier reports ; Jfhat,' the United States was the -Htfime mover in the effort to set up i4iaramilitary operation against wjNiHragiia. 3228nt they agreed that Mr Reagan "SSija set in motion a secret in-JfjlHgence operation for Central . America and the Caribbean. in addition to paramilitary nations and financial support for considered moderates, the .. fflHrT 'also calls for establishing an 3 intellicence-gathering network of ' local and US agents. '.'J'...-; (The New York Times) far AAP-AP satellite picture President Reagan and President Mitterrand, outside the White House after their meeting on Friday. Haig glosses over differences with Mitterrand WASHINGTON, Sunday. The French President, Mr Mitterrand, and President Reagan moved closer to a mutual approach to problems in Central America during their wide-ranging talks here, according to the Secretary of State, Mr Haig. Mr Haig said he was "very, very pleased with the outcome of Mr Mitterrand's visit to Washington on Friday. He glossed over differences In the two natrons' approach to the region, emphasising agreement on social and economic issues. In public statements after their 2J-lHur luncheon meeting, both Presidents spoke of the need to promote democracy in Central America. Mr Mitterrand praised Mr Reagan's trade and aid plan for the Caribbean basin while Mr Reagan said the French President had a better understanding of US policy objectives in the area. But there was little indication that sharp differences on El Salvador and Nicaragua can be resolved. In El Salvador, the United States backs a civilian-military junta in its war against Leftist guerillas, opposing negotiations unless the guerillas lay down their arms and co-operate in the election process. France, however, has said the guerilla forces constitute a legitimate political entity a stand that has angered Washington. The United States regards with even more disfavour France's plan to sell weapons to the Leftist Sandi-nista Government in Nicaragua. (AAP-Reuter) Red faces when Nicaraguan recants WASHINGTON, Sunday. The United States has been embarrassed for the second time in ajnjany weeks in its efforts to . ptove that Nicaragua and Cuba aSRJielping anti-Government forces in 121 Salvador. .The latest setback came on Friday when the' State Department caned a news conference with Mr Orlando Tardencilla Espinosa, a ltyear-old Nicaraguan captured last year in El Salvador. US officials expected him to re-. peat statements made last year in El Salvador that he was under : orders from the Nicaraguan Government and had been trained : in Cuba and Ethiopia. : : Instead, as the stunned officials '.'Wajched, Mr Tardencilla said his earlier statements had been lies, '' 'told because he had been tortured by the Salvadoreans. ..The Nicaraguan Embassy in Washington said yesterday that Mr Tardencilla was later turned over to the Embassy by US officials and was now on his way back to Nicaragua. Last" week, the Secretary of State, Mr Haig, told a Congressional committee that another Nicaraguan guerilla officer had been captured in El Salvador. But Salvadorean officials later said the man had escaped and was given refuge in the Mexican Embassy in San Salvador. The Mexicans said he was a student passing through El Salvador on his way back to Mexico. The Guatemalan Congress voted last night to name General Angel Anibal Guevara as the winner of the country's presidential election, Overruling claims by his three civilian rivals that the vote count was rigged. General Guevara and his civilian running mate, Mr Riamro Ponce Monroy, received '39 votes from the 52 Congressmen present, and the 13 other votes were declared null and void. None of the four candidates received a majority in the election last Sunday. General Guevara had been assured of winning the congressional vote. He was backed by a coalition that includes the Institutional Democratic Party, which has been in power for the past 12 years and conrtols the one-chamber Congress, The election runner-up was Mr Mario Sandoval Alarcbn of the far-Right National Liberation Movement. The Colombian President, Mr Julio Cesar Turbay Ayala, yesterday tried to stir voters out of their traditional apathy for parliamentary elections which are being held today against a background of Leftist guerilla violence. "He who does not vote has no right to criticise what he could have changed. Bad governments are elected by the good citizens who do not vote," he said. Guerillas have called on Colombia's 14 million voters not to vote. Absenteeism has topped 60 per cent in elections over the past 25 years. (AAP-AP-Reuter) PERTH WESTERN AUSTRALIA FOR SALE f, 2 and 3 B.H. 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