One of the members of the ruling five-man junta in El Salvador has been replaced in a move aimed at avoiding outright civil war.
GV Workers listening to speech by LP-28 leader near San Salvador (3 shots)
GV Crowd chanting (2 shots)
SV PAN TO CU Man with loud-hailer addressing second gathering near San Salvador with armed men in background (4 shots)
CU PAN Line of gunmen with faces covered with ERP scarfs, crowd chanting PAN TO crowd
SV Crowd looking at dead man (3 shots)
GV Street demonstration outside official residence of U.S. Ambassador Robert White in San Salvador (3 shots)
CU Girl in crowd
LV U.S. Marine talking into walkie-talkie on roof of Ambassador's residence PAN TO crowd outside
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Background: One of the members of the ruling five-man junta in El Salvador has been replaced in a move aimed at avoiding outright civil war. Colonel Adolfo Majano -- a moderate considered to be the main force behind recent land reform measures -- has been replaced amid growing political tension between right and left-wing guerrilla groups.
SYNOPSIS: Workers listening to a speech by leaders of the Popular League of February 28 -- one of El Salvador's four left-wing organisations. The leftist leaders say they want the dissolution of the armed forces, complete nationalisation and the establishment of a people's government. This village, in the Usulutan district, was earlier attacked by rightist guerrillas who killed several villagers. Until recently most of the agriculture and finance had been in the hands of a small group of wealthy families, while most of the country's six million people lived in poverty.
The People's Revolutionary Party is another of the left-wing groups fighting to topple the ruling junta. In a move aimed at quelling unrest among El Salvador's peasantry, he junta confiscated sixty percent of the best farmland for redistribution to the peasants. All banks were nationalised. But the redistribution has sparked off further violence from right-wing groups who oppose the reforms. Since February, fighting has escalated. Gunfights and assassinations are now almost a daily occurrence.
Guerrilla organisations have enough money to buy weapons on the international market after gaining millions of dollars from the kidnapping of diplomats and businessmen. It is at rallies in rural areas that they gain much of their support. Here, guerrilla leaders showed local peasants the body of a man killed by right-wing groups.
On Saturday (10 May) right-wing supporters besieged the San Salvador residence of the American Ambassador, Robert White. the demonstrators accused the Ambassador of being behind the arrest of nine right-wing militants suspected of plotting a military coup. The siege came to an end in the early hours of Monday (12 May), when United States marine guards fired tear-gas shells at about one hundred demonstrators. Mr. White managed to escape unharmed in a car.