US steps up effort to stop Salvador's death squads

Following months of subtle effort by the Reagan administration to pressure El Salvador into stopping right-wing death squads, US Ambassador Thomas Pickering has used a public forum and blunt words to warn prominent Salvadoreans that failure to end the terror endangers efforts to foster democracy.

Speaking here Friday to a group of businessmen, Pickering said El Salvador's government had failed to take action against right-wing death squads, despite knowing who was involved and despite losing US aid as a result of the violence.

Meanwhile, the Salvadorean military has carried out a shake-up giving tough right-wing officers key commands aimed at boosting the government's flagging campaign against left-wing guerrillas. The list of 20 changes was the biggest shake-up since Defense Minister Carlos Eugenio Vides Casanova took command of the armed forces in April.

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.