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Report Two Linked To Death Squads Promoted

January 17, 1986

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) _ Two officers previously linked to rightist death-squad activity have been promoted, according to the latest command change list.

According to the list, obtained Thursday, Maj. Jose Ricardo Pozo, now serving as military attache in Paraguay, was named a lieutenant colonel, and Lt. Col. Mario Denis Moran, a military attache in Washington, was promoted to colonel.

Both were given foreign assignments two years ago after their names reportedly were included on a list of officers involved in death squad activity provided by the U.S. Embassy.

Vice President George Bush visited in December 1983 to deliver a letter from President Reagan to then-President Alvaro Magana, warning that U.S. military aid could be cut off by Jan. 10, 1984, if El Salvador did not crack down on the squads.

The letter reportedly included a demand that a number of military officers and civilians linked to the squads should be exiled or forced to leave the country for a period of time.

An estimated 60,000 people have died during the 6-year-old civil war between leftist rebels and the U.S.-supported government. Human rights groups say a majority were civilians caught in cross fire or killed by death squads and paramililitary forces.

Most of the killings took place in the first years of the war.

Pozo’s last post inside the country was as intelligence chief for the Treasury Police, while Moran commanded the armed forces training center in central El Salvador.

Military sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity for security reasons, said the promotions were made within standard military guidelines.

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