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The future of El Salvador

The recent editorial "Peace and Progress in El Salvador," Jan. 6, says the right things, but it omits some comments on the current situation. A friend just returned from El Salvador with a human rights lawyer for a man held in prison. The man came to the United States after leaving the Salvadoran Army and had testified about some of the atrocities - an obvious reason for political asylum - but was denied by US authorities. Eventually he was deported to El Salvador, and now his life is threatened in a Sal vadoran prison.

Despite the peace accords, the Cristiani government has not been able to attain the confidence of the people that human rights will be possible in the Salvadoran courts. The first step would be to make public the names of those officers most responsible for rights abuses. How much responsibility does the US administration have for these abuses? Should Congress investigate these US military advisers, or does President Bush's pardon take away all responsibility?

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These questions strike at the heart of the matter of our government's continuing involvement with the rightist military governments in Central America. Many of us do try to help the refugees and to cut off spending for arms for these oppressive governments.

We have been lied to. Now, those responsible have been pardoned. Charley Peterson, Hatboro, Pa.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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