1968: Gen. Jos Alberto Medrano, who is on the payroll of the CIA, organizes the ORDEN and ANSESAL paramilitary forces, considered the precursors to El Salvador's death squads.

1980-1992: The US backs the Salvadorian junta's power grab and subsequent reign of terror with massive military aid and training.

El Salvador's dissidents tried to work within the system. But with U.S. support, the government made that impossible, using repeated electoral fraud and murdering hundreds of protesters and strikers. In 1980, the dissidents took to the gun, and civil war.

Officially, the U.S. military presence in El Salvador was limited to an advisory capacity. In actuality, military and CIA personnel played a more active role on a continuous basis.