News In Brief

El Salvador would have failed aid tests, groups say

Six groups that watch events in Central America said Thursday, in reports submitted to Congress, that El Salvador had failed to meet the requirements for continued US economic and military aid set in a bill President Reagan vetoed in November.

The reports by the groups assert that ''terror is the means whereby the armed forces maintain their authority''; that right-wing ''death squad'' activity has increased over the past six months; that the land-reform program is ''being administered by its enemies''; and that Washington and San Salvador ''do not appear to be making good-faith efforts to hold free elections.''

If the certification requirement approved by both houses of Congress had been signed by Mr. Reagan, the administration would be unable to find that El Salvador qualified for continued aid, according to the Americas Watch Committee, American Civil Liberties Union, Washington Office on Latin America, Commission on US-Central American Relations, Lawyers Committee for International Human Rights, and the Institute for Food and Development Policy.

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