The head of El Salvador's left-wing Popular Revolutionary Bloc (BPR) has been arrested on charges of subversion.
GV ZOOM OUT Party leaders seated on dais facing supporters
SV AND GV Party leaders and supporters raise left hands in silent salute (2 shots)
SV PAN Party leaders sitting at dais (5 shots)
CU Female leader reading out statement
GV: Crowd listen to speech
SV: Party leaders sign documents accompanied by applause from crowd. (2 shots)
SV AND GV: Party leaders and crowd with upraised hands joined together stand as "La International" is played over loudspeaker. (2 shots)
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Background: The head of El Salvador's left-wing Popular Revolutionary Bloc (BPR) has been arrested on charges of subversion. Police said Juan Chacon, who leads the powerful anti-government group, was arrested on Wednesday (27 February) after reports disclosed that 29 people had died in the troubled Central American republic in violence during the previous 48 hours.
SYNOPSIS: The arrest came only a day after a left-wing co-ordinating committee announced a programme for the setting up of a revolutionary government in El Salvador. The four major left-wing groups operating in the country read out their proposal before an audience of university students.
The groups represented on the committee included the BPR and the Popular League of February 28 (LP-28). After Wednesday's (27 February) announcement of Juan chacon's arrest, police in El Salvador said they had also detained Carlos of subversion and illegal possession of arms.
The proposed government programme calls for an independent Marxist-type state. The plan includes the dissolution of the armed forces,extensive nationalisation, reduced ties with the United States and the establishment of a revolutionary democratic government. The four political groupings who were signatories to the joint political plan are at present engaged in a battle with the country's security forces and right-wing supporters.
About 150 people have died in the fighting in El Salvador so far this year as right and left-wing forces battle to bring about the collapse of the ruling civilian-military junta which took power last October. In the latest incident, LP-28 members seized the central market in the capital, San Salvador, on Monday (25 February) demanding cleaner facilities and lower taxes for market vendors. They vacated the building on Tuesday (26 February) freeing 20 hostages but it's not clear if their demands were met. Government offices and a number of embassies have also been occupied during the past months by various left and right-wing groups.
In the past two days of fighting in San Salvador and in neighbouring provinces, fifteen of the 29 people killed were guerrillas and five were armed peasants who clashed with security forces in Suchitoto, north of the capital.
United States Department officials in Washington say their intelligence sources indicate that the overthrow of the ruling junta in El Salvador appeared imminent.