Filmmakers plan series on El Salvador's civil war priest murders

Reuters News
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Posted: Dec 04, 2014 6:04 PM

SAN SALVADOR (Reuters) - One of the most notorious atrocities of El Salvador's 12-year civil war, the 1989 killing of six Jesuit priests, is to be the subject of a new television series starring Mexican actor Diego Luna, producers said on Thursday.

Focusing on the priests' murders, as well as the 1980 slaying of San Salvador's Archbishop Oscar Romero, the series "Cortando el Puente" (Cutting the Bridge) will revisit crimes which remain highly sensitive from the bloody war that ended in 1992.

The six priests, five of whom were Spanish, were shot along with a housekeeper and her daughter. A legal battle ensued between El Salvador and Spain, which has tried to extradite a group of Salvadoran soldiers accused of committing the murders.

Romero was gunned down after he had spoken out about rights abuses by the country's U.S.-backed army during the war. This year the Vatican said it had lifted a ban on Romero's beatification after harboring concerns he had Marxist views.

The series, which has a $3 million budget and is set to begin filming in El Salvador in the second half of 2015, will be based on reporting by a journalist who covered the war.

The string of six hour-long episodes will be produced by a trio of production companies: Mexico's Argos, El Salvador's Meridiano89 and Spain's Filmanova.

The civil war killed 75,000 and left 8,000 missing. A truth commission investigated some of the worst massacres of the war, but El Salvador's Congress passed an amnesty law in 1993 that impeded the prosecution of alleged war crimes.

(Reporting by Nelson Renteria; Writing by Elinor Comlay; Editing by Alan Crosby)