Wednesday, March 11, 2009

FMLN killing of US soldier remembered

Veterans of the fight to bring democracy to El Salvador are recalling the upcoming anniversary of the FMLN's targeted killing of SGT Gregory Fronius in 1987.

Fronius, with the 7th Special Forces Group, was training the Salvadoran military when the FMLN overran a base in El Paraiso, killing about 70. Fronius was the sole American among them. The FMLN reportedly carried out the attack for the express purpose of killing a US soldier for its propaganda value. FMLN guerrillas booby trapped Fronius' body.

The attack took place on March 31, 1987.

The FMLN carried out the killing with the help of intelligence provided by Ana Belen Montes, a Cuban penetration agent in the Defense Intelligence Agency. Montes visited the El Paraiso camp during an official visit a few weeks before the attack.

Author Scott W. Carmichael, in his book True Believer (Naval Institute Press, 2007), says that the Cuban spy directly assisted the FMLN in killing Fronius. Montes was convicted of espionage in 2002.

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