Rebels’ No. 2 Man Arrested in El Salvador

United Press International

The second in command of El Salvador’s Communist Party was captured by Salvadoran authorities and is providing police with “ample information” on the group’s terrorist activities, the National Police announced today.

A police statement said Communist Party official Americo Mauro Araujo was “recently captured” but did not say when. Clandestine rebel Radio Venceremos confirmed Araujo’s arrest, saying he was apprehended Aug. 9 in San Salvador. The police did not specify where or when he was arrested.

According to the police, Araujo was in charge of logistics and recruitment for the guerrillas’ Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front and was also in charge of planning the infiltration of student and labor movements.

Araujo is said to be second in command to Jorge Shafik Handal, head of the Communist Party. The police report said he provided “ample information on future terrorist plans” as well as past attacks.

He is now in the custody of a military court, the statement said.


According to the police statement, Araujo told police that guerrilla groups fighting to overthrow the U.S.-backed government of Jose Napoleon Duarte “drew lots among themselves” to decide which organization would carry out a massacre at a sidewalk cafe in June. Thirteen people--four off-duty U.S. Marines, two American businessmen and seven Latin Americans--were gunned down June 19 by the guerrillas in a bar in the exclusive Zona Rosa section of the capital.