Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero of San Salvador said in his Sunday (24 February) sermon that right-wing groups are plotting to overthrow the ruling junta and thwart its reform programs.
GV Cathedral TILT DOWN to mourners with wreaths outside,
SV AND CU Relatives of deceased Mario Zomora Rivas with small children weeping over coffin (2 shots).
GV Funeral procession with green and white flags outside cathedral.
SV Coffin being carried out of cathedral and along street past armed soldiers. (3 shots).
CU Archbishop of San Salvador Oscar Arnulfo Romero speaking to his congregation at mass.
GV Archbishop Romero arrives by land rover to perform in countryside.
SV Wedding congregation applaud as Archbishop arrives to perform ceremony wedding.
SV PAN From congregation to Archbishop speaking to assembled guests. (2 shots).
CU PULL OUT TO SV Wedding ceremony in progress, then guests throw confetti at couple. (2 shots)
SV PULL BACK TO GV Newly married couple walk off down dirt road, followed by wedding guests.
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Background: Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero of San Salvador said in his Sunday (24 February) sermon that right-wing groups are plotting to overthrow the ruling junta and thwart its reform programs. The growing political violence in El Salvador during the past few months have included kidnappings, the taking to hostages, the occupation of government building, and killings, including nine in one week. One of those victims was Attorney General Mario Zomora Rivas, who was in charge of the government's land reform program.
SYNOPSIS: The funeral for the thirty-five year old leader of the Christian Democratic Party was held in the San Salvador Cathedral. Dr Rivas was assassinated when gunmen burst into a private party on the week-end, ordered each guest to identify himself, and shot only the doctor.
His death came just forty-eight hours after two of his colleagues died in a street ambush. All three men were reported to have been accused of belonging to a left-wing group the "Union of White Lawyers", one of the many clandestine groups from the Right and Left that now dominate and disrupt daily life.
In his sermon on Sunday (24 February), Archbishop Romero echoed warnings recently expressed by the U.S. State Department in Washington that a coup appeared imminent in troubled El Salvador.
Speaking to a congregation of rural workers in the city's main cathedral, he urged the United States to withhold military aid to the government, until land reforms were carried out".
Monsignor Romero, here on his way to a wedding in the country, has condemned rampant violence by the extreme leftist and rightist groups. His plea for withholding aid followed a recent announcement that the United States plans to provide up to sixty million dollars worth of assistance.
The Archbishop, nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his defence of human rights, has warned that such aid would encourage the military right-wing factions to continue their support of oligarchy.
He fears, he said, that the oligarchy would in turn continue to use both money and violence to paralyse the present government. The junta, in power since toppling the military government of Carlos Humberto Romero last October, has been plagued by opposition in trying to introduce its fundamental reforms.
But in spite of the wave of terrorism in the cities, life and its traditions continue in the country. And men like Archbishop Romero hope that these newly weds will eventually enjoy the long-awaited land reforms.