Street vendors were back on the square in front of the cathedral today and shoppers were strolling where more than 30 people died and hundreds were injured when the funeral of slain archbishop Oscar A. Romero turned into mayhem yesterday.
"Maybe everything will be calm now," said a bus driver back on his route. "It happens this way here -- a massacre and then nothing for awhile, and then another killing. We get it from every side. It goes on and on."
El Salvador has seen nearly 800 killings this year in warfare between the left and right.
U.S. Amabassador Robert E. White blamed Sunday's violence on leftist militants -- who are not occupying the cathedral as they often have done in the past. The U.S.-supported ruling junta also blamed the leftists, who in turn accused the United States, the government and right-wing provocateurs of triggering the violence.
White, in a statement, blamed the extreme right for the still unsolved assassination of Romero, who was a firm defender of human rights and critic of the Army that has long ruled this country. But White accused the extreme left of taking advantage of Romero's death to disrupt the funeral yesterday.
Witnesses to the events tell so many conflicting stores that no one is certain exactly what happened.
What is clear, however, is that uniformed governement troops were not involved. They only sallied into the streets late yesterday afternoon, several hours after the chaos at the cathedral, to stop looting in the center of the city. Now they have retired once again to their baracks.
El Salvador's armed forces are aware that their very presence in the streets, far from keeping order, is most likely to provoke confrontation in the heavily charged atmosphere.
The National University, an autonomous sanctuary for militant leftists, is virtually deserted now during this holiday week before Easter, except for those militants who are afraid to leave.
Revolutionary banners flap unread in the breeze. The headquarters of the militant Popular Leagues of February 28, recently blown up by people making bombs inside, sits barren and empty.
It is the hope of the military-civilian junta that through reforms and, if possible, restraint of the violence, it can win over the vast majority of people disillusioned by extremist violence.
But the support has not yet shown itself and at least one member of the junta has said that the government could not survive without massive U.S. support.
The one leader who could be seen clearly to have the support of this hitherto silent majority, was Romero, buried yesterday in the cathedral amid the sounds of gunshots and bombs.
Today, throughs filed in and out of the doors of the cathedral to look at five corpses still lying on the floor there. The crowd paid little attention to the masked young leftists who have taken possession of the building.
Outside, Salvadorans sorted through hundreds of shoes lost as the panicked crowd scrambled over a high fence to reach the sanctuary of the church. Most of those who died were sufocated or crushed, with less than 10 dead of gunshot wounds. First reports of 40 killed were reduced today because of duplicate counting of casualties.
There was a furor at the junta press conference when reporters were shown videotape footage of the violence shot by an ABC cameramen here.
The cameraman, who had shipped the videotape to Managua, Nicaragua for satellite transmission to New York, protested that his footage had been pirated. The junta members, unable to explain exactly how they got the tape, apologized profusely. The cameraman concluded that it must have been copied somehow in Managua and brought back.
Most outgoing cables are known to be read by government censors, and the press generally is finding itself in an increasingly difficult position. There have been several denunciations by the government of the foreign press.
There Latin American journalists have been forced for frightened out of the country in the last six weeks, two of them at gunpoint by unidentified groups of men.
The complaint of the armed froces and various comservative groups has been that the foreign press coverage is overly sympathetic to the left.
But it was evident today at a press conference of an alliance of several Marxist organizations that the left is now also angry with journalists. Many press accounts of yesterday's violence suggested that leftist groups were at least indirectly responsible.