The U.S. Builds the Paramilitary Apparatus

The Alliance for Progress programs of strengthening internal security forces took a still more ominous turn in El Salvador, with the establishment of the military and paramilitary apparatus that was to be responsible for widespread slaughter in coming years. According to Allan Nairn's detailed study (Behind The Death Squads), the US organized and trained the rural paramilitary force ORDEN, which has terrorized the countryside since, as well as the elite presidential intelligence service ANSESAL, which served as the intelligence arm of the "death squads." The founder of ORDEN and ANSESAL, General Medrano, was enlisted as a CIA agent. Described by Jose Napoleon Duarte as "the father of the Death Squads, the chief assassin of them all," he was awarded a silver medal by President Johnson "in recognition of exceptionally meritorious service." Medrano stated that "ORDEN and ANSESAL grew out of the State Department, the CIA, and the Green Berets during the time of Kennedy." Parallel domestic security agencies were established in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, Honduras and Costa Rica and "would meet every three months under the supervision of the State Department and exchange information and methods of operation," Medrano added. This was part of a broad plan to organize a Central American intelligence effort under CIA coordination to control internal dissidence, paralleling CONDECA.

Turning the Tide, Noam Chomsky