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Public Papers - 1989 - June

Statement by Press Secretary Fitzwater on the Murder of Jose Antonio Rodriguez Porth of El Salvador

1989-06-09

The President strongly condemns the vicious murder of Salvadoran President Cristiani's newly appointed Salvadoran Minister of the Presidency, Jose Antonio Rodriguez Porth. Mr. Rodriguez died of wounds suffered earlier today when assailants machine-gunned him and his party as they were traveling through a residential neighborhood in San Salvador.

The President noted a pattern of violence against government officials in El Salvador by those who seek to destroy the democratic gains made in that country. This brutal assassination follows the recent killing of President Duarte's Attorney General, Roberto Garcia Alvarado, and attacks on the homes of other government and military officials.

We hope the Salvadoran police forces will find those responsible for this despicable act. We note that the security forces uncovered on May 30 the largest cache of Soviet-bloc weapons ever captured in El Salvador, including almost 250 AK - 47 assault rifles.

The President again calls on extremist groups to put an end to the violence in El Salvador, noting that only through the renunciation of terrorism and war, and the acceptance of democracy, will there be peace.

Vice President Quayle will personally deliver the President's condolences to the Rodriguez Porth family and to President Cristiani when he arrives in San Salvador next week.

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