SUBJECT: Government Investigation of Killings in El Salvador
1. PresidentJr-tiani--highly ueiiMlive to international criticism of human li'jhte abuses in El Salvador--haa promised to punieh the killers of thete onovember even If they turn out to bef his party or the armed forces. The government"has launched an investigation with the help of British, Spanish, and US law enfoicea*>nt agenclea. Nevertheless, the eventual prosecution of those deemed culpabla--especlslly if they are powerful politicians or high-ranking military ofticlale--could he hindered by the cumbersome Judicial proceaa, Idloeyncraales of Sslvsdoran rules of ovldence, vulnerability of Judges to briberyt leidation.
2. There is currently only circumstsntlsl svidonce implicating Roberto D'Aubuiaaon in the murder of the Jesuits, but we believeinimum that his exhortation concerning the prleats could have spurred rlghtwing extremists to commit the crime. He believe that Crietiani would be willing to move againat D'Aubuleeon only If Irrefutahle evidence la developed against hie. olid, compelling esse to be built, Crietleni eightwift prosecution li he had tho backing of key ARENA moderatea. Likewise, the militaryrecently has invsatlgated of fleets for abusesmay back quick action against D'Aubuisaon or <iaed forces members if the investigation definitively points to their guilt. Tho President, his party, and the military, however, almosti-itamly would resist any calls from opposition leaders or broad to take sny extra-judicial actchbyubui neon under house irreitoroutU ing him from his teat ini nlative Aooembly. ffl B
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or other* in the absence olaiiongj> representsolated fact!cm of*believe D'Auhulesonihi> 1most popular figure inand AkKNA membera would pi "hahly try to protect him. strong nationalist siieak In Ai'KMA, in thealvadorans In general, some of whom are ci it leal ofview a* US meddling in their affair*, k! bebacklash against CilstJaiu if he i* perceived toD'Aubuisson to US pressure recipitous actionif backed by moderate Chief of Staffcould strengthen tlie hand oform and loadrenew their efforts to block Ponce's expected pi emotionMinister next month in favoi of their Sonera!Original document.