According to Socorro Jurìdico, the church human rights organisation, 12,501 people died in 1981, bringing the total number of deaths since October 1979 to over 30,000. The great bulk of people who have lost their lives are not combatants but innocent workers and peasants deemed to be 'subversives' by the armed forces. Young people are uniformly suspected of aiding the opposition, and have been the main sector of the population to suffer at the hands of the military, particularly the paramilitary forces -- the Guardia Nacional and the Policìa de Hacienda. The two denuncias printed below should suffice to illustrate the manner in which the civil war is being fought by one side. Copies of these statements are on file at the Library of the Center for National Security Studies, Washington D.C. and are reprinted in Morton Halperin (ed), Report on Human Rights in El Salvador.
At 2.30 a.m. on April 7 ( 1980) my son, Luis Alonso Quintanilla Sánchez, and my husband, Luis Alonso Quintanilla Perdomo, were arrested at our home on the main street north, Guadelupe district, House number 3, Apopa (a town ten miles from San Salvador). The arrest was made by properly-uniformed Treasury Policemen, who came to the house in three pick-up trucks. The first was a white Toyota, and the other two were blue and red respectively. There were approximately 30 Treasury Policemen. We were all asleep at the time. Since the house is still under construction, it does not have a door. In place of a door, we had put up a table, which was forcibly shoved aside when approximately twelve of them entered. The rest stayed outside the house. At the time of these events, I was with my eight children and my husband. We were all immobilized by this since the Treasury Police entered noisily, screaming insults and threats. Once inside, they found another table used by the family and one of the Treasury Policemen