El Salvador - Peter Cassidy (Ernesto Sibrian) case

On Aug. 28, 1984, Peter was nearly 2 and Lilian 6 when the Atlacatl Battalion began an air attack on El Tamarindo, a Chalatenango town of guerrillas and their noncombatant supporters, among them Peter's mother, Eulalia, who worked for the guerrillas as a cook. Just before a group of fleeing noncombatants could cross the Gualsinga River, the army surrounded them, killing at least 50 people. Eulalia was fleeing with Peter and Lilian in tow. She had stopped to rest on a rock and Peter was in her arms and Lilian at her feet when she was shot. Peter now knows that the bullet in his arm probably killed his mother. As Lilian recounts the story today, she was covered with her mother's blood and tried to pull Eulalia up by her hands. ''Mommy, run,'' she said, over and over, until a soldier came over and stopped her and pulled her away.

Soldiers took the children by helicopter back to a base. Lilian would not let go of her brother. ''I'll take care of him,'' she insisted. But Peter was taken to a hospital in Chalatenango. That was the last she saw of him until she hugged him in the yard of her house last year, her own 2-year-old son by her side.
Date: 1984-08-28
Number of children: 1


Organizations: a Chalatenango hospital


Guarjila, Chalatenango
El Salvador
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