While the occupation of the Spanish Embassy in San Salvador continue, El Salvador leftists have taken nearly 450 people hostage in series of attacks on government and foreign-owned buildings.
GV TILT DOWN EXTERIOR: San Salvador cathedral with demonstrators gathered outside.
SV INTERIOR: Cathedral people passing coffin and paying respects (3 shots)
GV EXTERIOR: Coffin carried down cathedral steps and placed on back of truck. (2 shots)
SV: Students shaking collection tins while others hold wreaths. (2 shots)
SV PULL BACK TO GV: Coffins on way to cemetery in procession. (3 shots)
SV: Mourners and procession in grave graveyard. (2 shots)
GV TILT DOWN FROM: Cathedral TO demonstrators
SV: Armed troops observing from rear of vehicle
SV PULL BACK TO GV Demonstrators at rally (2 shots)
SV PULL BACK TO GV: Man speaking in Spanish and crowd applauds.
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Background: While the occupation of the Spanish Embassy in San Salvador continue, El Salvador leftists have taken nearly 450 people hostage in series of attacks on government and foreign-owned buildings. The ruling civilian-military junta now is under even greater pressure from militants demanding government reforms.
SYNOPSIS: A funeral service was held on Thursday (14 February) for five leftists killed by government forces they had died two days earlier when police stormed the Christian Democratic Party headquarters where militants of the Popular League of February 28 (LP-28) were holding hostages.. LP-28 members claim that the five were murdered by security forces after surrendering to them. The police allege the leftists were shot while resisting arrest.
As followers of the revolutionary Students Movement joined in the funeral procession there other protest marches were on in San Salvador. One of them was staged by the federation of Agricultural Workers, demanding lower prices for land and food and better bank credits. One hundred and fifty members broke away from the main body of the march and took hostage about 3-hundred employees and visitors at the Agricultural Development Bank in the centre of the city.
In a series of apparently coordinated raids, other leftists seized 80 more hostages at the bank's branches and at town halls in two other cities. They also occupied two electric power stations in suburban San Salvador.
El Salvador has been experiencing a wave of political violence in the past six months. There is wide-ranging dissatisfaction among left-wing groups over the pace of reforms under the civilian-military junta which came to power last October.
On Friday (15 February) there were more demonstrations in the capital. Members of the left-wing Popular Revolutionary Movement invaded the Foreign Trade Institute, seizing 60 hostages. They were protesting at threatened factory closures by multinational organisation. The Jesuit Central American University also was stormed and militants took more hostages. The two days of violence increased the number of hostages held by leftist groups to about 450.
Negotiations for their release are in progress, and in the meantime, the demonstrations and the unrest continue.