In 1981, more than a thousand civilians around El Mozote, El Salvador, were slaughtered by the country's U.S.-trained army. The story was covered—and soon forgotten—by the international news
media. In the first edition of The El Mozote Massacre, anthropologist Leigh Binford successfully restores a social identity to the massacre victims through his dissection of Third World human rights
reporting and a rich ethnographic and personal account of El Mozote–area residents prior to the massacre.
Dr. Binford is to be saluted for breaking that silence and putting the story of El Mozote on the anthropological map. Additionally, he holds the delicate balance of not shying away from the brutality of the massacre without falling into the abyss of voyeuristic writing. It is a well-written and deeply moving book.
—Victoria Sanford, author of Buried Secrets: Truth and Human Rights in Guatemala
Binford's call for a more humanistic anthropology and a less apathetic world comes across clearly. . . . Well written, compelling, and recommended for all those interested in Latin America, anthropological ethics, and human rights.
Binford's book does an admirable job in meticulously reconstructing the events which led up to the massacre. He is intent on making the victims of the massacre real human beings with lives and livelihoods, not an anonymous mass of people. His broader aim is to show how quantifying human rights statistics can dehumanize the victims and desensitize people to what is actually involved. His anthropological study is the most interesting part of the book.
—Latin American Studies
Almost two decades later, the consequences of the massacre continue to reverberate
through the country's legal and socioeconomic systems. The El Mozote Massacre, 2nd Edition brings together new evidence to address reconstruction, historical memory, and human rights issues resulting
from what may be the largest massacre in modern Latin American history.
With a multitude of additions, including three new chapters, an extended chronology, discussion of the hearing and
ruling of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in 2012, and evidence gathered throughout half a dozen field trips made by the author, Binford presents a current perspective on the effects of this
tragic moment in history. Thanks to geographically expanded fieldwork, Binford offers critical discussion of postwar social, economic, religious, and social justice in El Mozote, and adds important
new regional, national, and global contexts.
The El Mozote Massacre, 2nd Edition maintains the crucial presence of the massacre in human rights discussions for El Salvador, Latin America, and