Dec 2 – A Day of Outrage: Murdered Nuns, Biko and Enron

A Day of Outrage
Murdered Nuns, Biko and Enron

1978

South Africa Refuses to Charge Biko Killers

A South African magistrate concludes there is not enough evidence to charge anyone in the death of anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko while in police custody.    Authorities would later admit to killing Biko during the post-apartheid Truth and Reconciliation proceedings.

Biko’s story is depicted in the 1987 film “Cry Freedom”.

1980

Salvadoran Death Squads Kill Four American Nuns

1980 was a very dangerous year in El Salvador.  In March, Archbishop Oscar Romero was assassinated during mass.  Then on December 2, four American churchwomen, Maryknoll sisters Maura Clarke and Ita Ford, Ursuline Sister Dorothy Kazel and lay missioner Jean Donovan , were abducted by members of the Salvadoran National Guard, viciously abused and killed.

The U.N.-sponsored report of the Commission on the Truth for El Salvador concluded that the abductions were planned in advance and the men responsible had carried out the murders on orders from above. It further stated that the head of the National Guard and two officers assigned to investigate the case had concealed the facts to harm the judicial process. The murder of the women, along with attempts by the Salvadoran military and some American officials to cover it up, generated a grass-roots opposition in the U.S., as well as ignited intense debate over the Administration’s policy in El Salvador. In 1984, the defendants were found guilty and sentenced to 30 years in prison. The Truth Commission noted that this was the first time in Salvadoran history that a judge had found a member of the military guilty of assassination. In 1998, three of the soldiers were released for good behavior. Two of the men remain in prison and have petitioned the Salvadoran government for pardons.

2001

Enron Files Bankruptcy

Enron, the Texas energy company pumped up by fraudulent accounting and which became a had bilked California consumers of approximately $45 billion by market manipulation to create false scarcity that led to rolling blackouts, files for bankruptcy.

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