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News Release


Release No: 023-97
January 17, 1997


The Department of Defense today has declassified and released the September 18, 1996 Office of Inspector General report The 1985 Zona Rosa Massacre and Its Aftermath. The Zona Rosa massacre involved the killing of four off-duty U. S. Marine embassy security guards and two other Americans by urban guerrilla commandos in San Salvador, El Salvador on June 19, 1985. The declassified version of the report was produced in the interest of making the existing record available to the public.

The report's conclusions include:

The Department of Defense did not participate in either

criminal investigation or prosecution of those apprehended in

connection with the massacre;

The Department of Defense did not have any relationship with any known or suspected perpetrator of the massacre either before or after the massacre;

After the massacre the Department of Defense played no role

in determining whether any of the known or suspected perpetrators

of the massacre or members of their families would be authorized

entry into the United States; and

The Department of Defense planned and rehearsed a military

retaliation option in response to the massacre. The military

option was never exercised.

The original classified report resulted from a January 1996 request by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that the Department of Defense Inspector General, as well as the Inspectors General of the Departments of State and Justice and the Central Intelligence Agency, conduct independent reviews of the matter. All of the reports have been declassified and are being publicly released today.

Copies of the DoD report are available to the news media in the Pentagon's Directorate for Defense Information. Interested members of the public may view copies of the reports at the National Archives and Records Administration, College Park Branch, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, Md., telephone (301) 713- 7250.

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