Fighting Stops for Mass Innoculation Program
SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) _ Insurgents and soldiers stopped fighting Sunday to allow a national vaccination program to immunize 200,000 children against measles, diphtheria and other acute infectious diseases.
Diseases such as polio, tetanus and whooping cough are responsible for 60 percent of the childhood deaths in El Salvador, health officials say.
Soldiers and leftist guerrillas of the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front suspended all fighting to permit the health workers to innoculate children in rural areas hurt by the civil war, now 6 years old.
Meanwhile, a Roman Catholic Church official said Sunday that at least 29 people were killed last week in violence.
Monsignor Gregorio Rosa Chavez, auxiliary archbishop of San Salvador, said in his homily at Metropolitan Cathedral that five people were kidnapped, including Luz Janeth Alfaro Pena, a former member of the independent Human Rights Commission.
″We feel that we must say a word, a word that is first of all a question: The elimination of people who appear to be key witnesses (to the kidnappings) - has it been intentional or accidental?″ he asked.
He said that such killings put in doubt the government’s credibility in wanting to bring to justice those involved in abductions.
The guerrillas are fighting to overthrow the U.S.-backed government of President Jose Napoleon Duarte. More than 60,000 people, many of them civilians, have been killed since the civil war began in 1979.