El Salvador; Violence surges on with civilian rule
Killings of ordinary Salvadorans - and of Christian Democratic Party leaders - have surged in number since the March elections, say Salvadoran human-rights observers and average Salvadoran citizens interviewed by this reporter.
The Salvador Human-Rights Commission reported last week that more than 2,100 Salvadorans have been killed in this country's civil war and related political violence during the first four months of 1982. Some Salvadorans say the commission's figures are too high, but few dipute that the cycle of violence in this nation is continuing, rather than abating under civilian rule.
The rights commission charged that the provisional government, in which right-wing leader Roberto d'Aubuisson plays a key role, is not keeping its pledge to end political violence.
One political leader who asked not to be identified said he believed the victory of the political right in March elections had given rise to an atmosphere conducive to such killings - in part to settle old political scores.
Among those who appear to have been targeted for killing are several leaders of the nation's Christian Democratic Party (PDC), who won a plurality but not a majority in the March elections.
Over the past three weeks, four PDC mayors and eight party members who served as election poll-watchers have been murdered.
Other PDC members have reported that they have been shot at as they leave the National Assembly. The party issued a statement June 4 appealing to PDC members in government to denounce attacks against them. It called on authorities of other political parties to cease any role they might have in such repression. The PDC said that if the wave of violence continued to rise, the ''government of national unity'' would be a debacle and PDC participation would be meaningless.
This unprecedentedly strong statement was viewed by some here as a threat to leave the government and join the opposition.
Observers say the statement is probably more a threat than any precursor to a major political shift of Christian Democrats to the left.