List of massacres in El Salvador

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The following are lists of massacres that have occurred in El Salvador (numbers may be approximate). There were some 27 separate documented civilian massacres[1][2][3] in the Salvadoran Civil War era alone (1979-1985), in total the war directly claimed 70-80 thousand lives. Additional ongoing violence related to the massacres and their obfuscation has claimed numerous activists, religious leaders, university professors, mayors, and foreigners in the decades following the civil war until the present day.


Name Date Location Deaths Notes
1932 Salvadoran peasant massacre January 22, 1932 – July 11, 1932 La matanza ("The Massacre") 10,000[4] and 40,000 Led to decline of native Pipil (Nahuatl) language and lack of linguistic self-identification due to induced climate of fear
Student Massacre of 1975 July 30, 1975 National Hospital Rosales, San Salvador unknown (over 100)[5]
Cathedral Slope Massacre May 8, 1979 San Salvador Cathedral 24[6] Civil War followed

Salvadoran Civil War era

Name Date Location Deaths Notes
El Calabozo massacre August 21–22, 1982 El Calabozo, San Vicente Department more than 200[7]
El Mozote massacre December 11, 1981 El Mozote up to 900[8]
Massacre of Tenango and Guadalupe Feb 28-Mar 1,1983 Suchitoto


  1. ^ Informe de la Comisión de la Verdad para El Salvador: “De la locura a la esperanza”, Naciones Unidas, San Salvador – Nueva York 1992-1993.
  2. ^ Book "Condoning the killing : ten years of massacres in El Salvador" con introducción del senador Brock Adams.
  3. ^ La muerte de los que no combatían en la guerra Revista Enfocus
  4. ^ Jeffery L. Gould and Aldo A. Lauria-Santiago (2008). To Rise in Darkness: Revolution, Repression, and Memory in El Salvador. Duke University Press. p. 234. ISBN 0822342286.
  5. ^ El Universitario, Época XIII, No 14, 2010
  6. ^
  7. ^ Tom Rosenstiel and Amy S. Mitchell (2003). Thinking Clearly: Cases in Journalistic Decision-Making. Columbia University Press. p. 145. ISBN 0-231-12589-5. Retrieved November 4, 2012.
  8. ^ Alex J. Bellamy (2012). Massacres and Morality: Mass Atrocities in an Age of Civilian Immunity. Oxford University Press. p. 214. ISBN 978-0199288427. Retrieved November 4, 2012.
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