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Gunmen Kill Rightist in El Salvador

July 1, 1989

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) _ Gunmen killed a prominent advocate of the far right Friday in the second such assassination of a politician this month.

Witnesses said Edgar Chacon’s car was raked with submachine-gun fire from a passing pickup truck at midafternoon as he was driving in the Miramonte neighborhood in the northwest area of the capital.

Patricia Gonzalez, a spokeswoman for Hospital Diagnostico, said Chacon, 42, died in the emergency room.

No group claimed responsibility, but President Alfredo Cristiani blamed the leftist guerrillas of the Farbundo Marti National Liberation Front, also known as the FMLN.

Cristiani called it a ″cowardly act by sick minds.″ He said that Chacon ″used only ideas and his beliefs as arms. He expressed what he thought was good and bad, and this demonstrates the inability of the FMLN to promote their cause with ideas instead of violence.″

Cristiani spoke with reporters after a ceremony at the Supreme Court.

Chacon was director of the Institute for International Relations, a far- right think tank. A vehement anti-communist, he abandoned the rightist Republican Nationalist Alliance, also known as Arena, several years ago.

Chacon accused the party, in power since June 1, of going soft in its opposition to communism. In forums and frequent appearances on locally broadcast programs he accused Cuba and Nicaragua of supporting El Salvador’s leftist guerrillas in their 9-year-old fight for power.

He was a sponsor in May of the Patriotic Civil Defense Force of right-wing volunteers in the affluent San Salvador neighborhood of Escalon.

Christian Democratic President Jose Napoleon Duarte dissolved the short- lived force shortly before handing power to Arena leader Cristiani.

A lone gunman on June 9 assassinated Antonio Rodriguez Porth, Cristiani’s most senior Cabinet member. Rodriguez held the title of minister to the presidency and was another prominent rightist political analyst.

The government and armed forces also blamed Rodriguez’s death on the FMLN, but the insurgent army denied killing Rodriguez.

The guerrillas claimed responsibility for the assassination Monday of Col. Roberto Rivera. He, too, was shot and killed while driving his car on a San Salvador street.

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