The families of four Catholic missionaries killed by soldiers in El Salvador in 1980 have filed a US federal lawsuit for wrongful death against two retired Salvadorean military officers.
    The lawsuit alleges that the two men, who have lived in Florida since 1989, were part of a chain of command that ordered and covered up the killings.
    Five lower-ranking members of the Salvadoran National Guard were convicted of the killings in 1984, but McGovern said no serious investigation has ever been undertaken of who ordered the attack.
    ``Although we don't know yet if there were any eyewitnesses to these murders, we do know that these two generals went to great lengths to cover them up,'' Democrat Senator Joe Moakley said at a news conference.
    The victims - Ita Ford, Maura Clarke, Dorothy Kazel and Jean Donovan - were working at a Catholic refugee centre when they were detained by soldiers at a roadblock on 2 December, 1980. Their raped and bullet-ridden bodies were found the next day along a dirt road.

11:02am 14/5/99 / AP


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