The United States is ready to resume aid to El Salvador, if the government there is "significantly restructured" and "shifts in military personnel" take place.
GV AND CU INTERIOR United States State Department spokesman Jack Cannon speaking in English (2 shots)
GV EXTERIOR Crowds gathered around bodies of four U.S. runs shot in San Salvador
SV Body of nun laying beside grave
CU Second body being removed from shallow grave
SV Members of press taking photographs
SV United States Ambassador Robert White talking to newsmen
CU Third body removed from grave and laid beside other two (2 shots)
TRANSCRIPT: SEQ. 1: CANNON: "Statements by Salvadorian officials involved indicate that some significant restructuring of the Government and shifts in military personnel are anticipated. The U.S. is ready to resume its assistance to El Salvador upon such progress. We will be following these developments and carefully assessing the way in which they improve the effectiveness of the government pursuing its reform programme in controlling violence and in respecting human rights. Progress towards these objectives is essential to avoid further polarisation either to the extreme right or the radical left."
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Background: The United States is ready to resume aid to El Salvador, if the government there is "significantly restructured" and "shifts in military personnel" take place. President Jimmy Carter suspended aid to the central American state after the murder of three American nuns and a lay worker earlier this month. But on Friday (12 December) State Department spokesman, Jack Cannon, said changes were underway in El Salvador, which could make the resumption of American aid possible.
SYNOPSIS: Jack Cannon's statement came only a week after President Carter suspended U.S. aid to El Salvador, after the murder of four Americans. Three nuns and a lay worker were found in shallow graves near San Salvador only 48 hours after they disappeared.
The women were shot and strangled by unknown assailants. Reports suggested that the women and the mission they worked for had been repeatedly threatened by right and left-wing guerrillas, but no one claimed responsibility for their murder.
President Carter sent a team of investigators to El Salvador and they reported their findings on Friday (12 December). They said there was no direct evidence to identify the women's killers. But, that there was circumstantial evidence that Salvadorian security forces were involved and that the government had promised to find and punish the killers. The report added that Salvadorian officials were trying to reshape the government in order to curb violence and open a dialogue with the opposition. Depending on the outcome of such negotiations the U.S. might resume their aid programme.