College - Author 1

College of Liberal Arts

Department - Author 1

History Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BA in History



Primary Advisor

Gregory Domber, College of Liberal Arts, History Department


During 1980, Salvadoran citizens endured increased violence, torture, and overall suppression of their basic human rights. Many prominent figures were assassinated by either right-wing death squads or leftist insurgents. Then on December 2, 1980 came the murder of four American churchwomen from the Maryknoll Order. Their purpose was to aid the poor within Latin America; El Salvador gave them the opportunity to help the Salvadoran poor in the midst of this violence. However, they were met with suspicion by security forces and, as a result were raped and killed on a dirt road. Within a week, President Jimmy Carter cut economic and military aid as well as launched an investigation in El Salvador to find and hold the perpetrators accountable for the four murders and further, investigate the Salvadoran government’s involvement in the ongoing murders of 1980.