On March 17, 1992, the government of El Salvador took custody of two FMLN operatives for the execution-style murders of LTC David H. Pickett and PFC Earnest Dawson, Jr., after the guerrillas shot down their US Army helicopter. Chief Warrant Officer Daniel Scott died in the crash.
An FBI investigation ascertained that Pickett and Dawson were injured but alive, and that the FMLN murdered them.
According to GlobalSecurity.org, after the FMLN shot down the helicopter, Scott was dead from the crash, Dawson was unconscious, and Pickett was "remarkably conscious." This account says,
"Several local farmers were forced at gunpoint by the rebels to drag the crew out of the helicopter. LTC Pickett asked for some water. The rebels then directed the farmers to go get some water. After the farmers had crossed the ridge line of the hill, the rebels shot PFC Dawson once in the head and then Pickett with two bursts of automatic weapons fire. PFC Dawson was posthumously promoted to Specialist."The murderers were identified as Ferman Hernandez and Severiano Fuentes, who confessed to the crime. A United Nations commission found that Hernandez gave the orders and that Fuentes carried out the actual murders. Both killers were allowed to go free under the terms of the State Department-brokered peace accords.
The FMLN has never made reparations for the crimes, which took place on January 2, 1991. FMLN presidential candidate Mauricio Funes and vice presidential candidate Salvador Sanchez Ceren, a former top FMLN commander, have expressed no remorse for the killings and offered no reparations to the United States or to the families.