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September 10, 1982 - Image 15

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1982-09-10

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The Michigan Daily-Friday, September 10, 1982-Page 15
War in El Salvador deadlocked

Battle deaths
on the rise
after years
of fighting
j;SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP)
- The war in El Salvador-is inten-
sifying in a costly deadlock between an
army adopting new aggressive tactics
and an elusive guerrilla force relying
on ambush and sabotage.
After almost three years of fighting,
the rate of battlefield deaths is rising,
and military analysts say both sides are-
getting stronger, though neither ap-
pears to be winning.
The Farabundo Marti National
Liberation Front, whose 4,000 to 6,000
guerrillas hold sway in much of the
countryside, is counting on the
stalemate to help it win a share of
power through a negotiated settlement.
COMMANDERS of the 24,600-
member armed forces reject
negotiations with the leftist guerrilla
leaders. But President Alvaro
Magana's rightist-dominated civilian
government, at the urging of Pope John
Paul II and the U.S. State Department,
last month formed a panel committed
to seek "reconciliation" in Central
America's hottest conflict.
In 20 major army sweeps this year,
the guerrillas have fled their
strongholds, stepped up ambush and
sabotage attacks elsewhere, then
returned when the army withdrew.
"Both sides are holding their ground,
overcoming major difficulties are get-
ting better at what they are good at,"
said a Salvadoran military observer,
who asked not to be identified.
THE ARMY'S latest drive, which en-
circled 50 square miles around the San
Vicente volcano east of the capital, was
another standoff. The army recovered

11111Wv~ 111 I QY
CLEPIQflCE

AP Photo
A SALVADORAN government soldier searches passengers of a bus on the outskirts of San Salvador, looking for weapons
and leftist guerrillas suspects. Military analysts say that after three years of fighting, neither side is winning, but both
sides are getting stronger.

scores of farm communities occupied
by guerrillas for two years, but most of
the insurgents escaped.
Warning of the attack reached the
rebel-held village of San Jacinto de la
Cruz two days in advance, recalled
Armando Vargas, a local peasant who
survived the army assault. After a
debate over whether to stay and fight,
125 of its 185 inhabitants, including most
of the armed rebels, got out safely, he
said.
LATER, AS 4,000 government
soldiers tightened their circle, many
who had stayed tried to break out.
"Some died in air bombardments,''
said Vargas, 36. Three unarmed men
were shot on the run, Vargas said.
THREE LOCAL women told repor-
ters 300 unarmed peasants were killed
in the two-week operation, which ended
Aug. 29. The army said it had killed

270 armed and unarmed "subver-
sives," and two of its own men had been
killed.
In the San Vicente operation, the ar-
my's three U.S.-trained battalions and
other units used U.S.-supplied helicop-
ters for the first time to move troops to
battle. It relied heavily on a Pentagon-
fashioned strategy of deploying small,
mobile bands to use guerrillas methods
against the insurgents.
The Reagan administration has in-
vested $81 million this year in training,
equipping - and redirecting the
Salvadoran army. "It was a
crackerjack operation, the best they
have had," a Western analyst said.
THE OPERATION'S comander, Col.
Napoleon Alvarado, admitted that
about 500 rebels and supporters had
fled before the attack. "They have us
infiltrated," he said. After most gover--
pression'
to continue to ignore the facts of human
misery is a disservice to the American
people."
The measure was introduced Wed-
nesday by Rep. Rick Sitz (D-Taylor)
and 12 co-sponsors. It is before the
House Policy Committee.

nment forces withdrew, snipers am-
bushed two army trucks, killing 20
soldiers.
The rebels have made El Salvador's
struggling economy their main target.
Their attacks on buses and other
vehicles, counted by newspapers, jum-
ped from 96 last year to 338 in the first
six months of 1982. Officials say 637
bombings did $6 million in damage to
power installations over the past 18
months and blacked out the eastern
one-third of the country for 14 days in
August. railroad equipment and
bridges are blown up weekly.
To curb the sabotage, U.S. officials
are urging "saturation" patrols of the
countryside, especially at night. "If
they follow the advice, their casualties
will double but they'll get the job done,"
said the Western analyst, who asked not
to be identified.
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Lawmakers: 'It

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LANSING (AP)- Some Michigan
legislators say it's time to switch from
"recession" to "depression" when
talking about the economy.
The lawmakers, who say high unem-
ployment and industrial uncertainty
defy textbook definitions of a recession,
are backing a resolution "calling on
other' states to stop using the term
"U' ournal
moves to
?western
*ecollege
DEARBORN (AP)- Whitman
College in Walla Walla, Wash., has
,come to the aid of a prestigious journal
that became too expensive for the
$niversity of Michigan's Dearborn
Campus.
The small college has agreed to un-
derwrite the cost of the Philosophy and
Literature Journal, which features
philosophical interpretations of
literature. U-M Dearborn spent $8,000
last year to print about 1,000 copies of
the journal, which is published twice a
year, but University officials decided it
ad to be dropped to cut expenses.
The journal's founder and editor,
penis Dutton, an associate professor of
,humanities at U-M Dearborn, then
found new funding at Whitman College.
-The journal will be printed and
Qistributed by John Hopkins University
n Baltimore.
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economy and has served to gloss over
the true impact "on the American
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