Friday, October 23, 2009

"Martyrs in the Cause of the Lord"

"Martyrs in the Cause of the Lord"

The Assassinations of Elders Jeffrey Brent Ball and Todd Ray Wilson

La Paz, Bolivia, May 24, 1989

Ryan Reeder




The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has frequently encountered persecution. This persecution has taken many forms. From anti-Mormon literature to an extermination order; from Haun's Mill to the Battle of Nauvoo, persecutions have raged, mobs have combined, armies have assembled, and calumny has defamed. Yet through it all, the truth of God has gone forth "boldly, nobly and independent" as The Church of Jesus Christ has sought to fulfill its "divine commission to preach the gospel in every nation and to every creature." (1)

One of the rarest and yet most visible forms of persecution has been the assassination of missionaries laboring in the field. Some missionaries have been killed because of anti-Mormon hostility, some have been killed for political reasons, and some have simply been victims of random attacks. These assassinations have included the following missionaries:

On July 21, 1879, Elders Joseph Standing and Rudger Clawson were accosted by an armed mob outside Varnell's Station, Georgia. Elder Standing was killed; Elder Clawson was allowed to escape, later serving many years as President of the Quorum of the Twelve. (2)

In the August 10, 1884 Cane Creek Massacre in Tennessee, five people were killed, including two missionaries, Elders William Berry and John H. Gibbs. B. H. Roberts, acting mission president, retrieved the bodies at great personal risk and sent them back to Utah. (3)

October 28, 1974 saw Elders Mark Fischer and Gary Darley killed in Austin, Texas by Robert Kleasen, a disaffected member of the ward where they had been serving. (4)

On December 15, 1979, Sisters Elizabeth King and Ruth Teuscher, two senior missionaries, both widows, were found beaten and shot to death in a car in a parking lot in North Charleston, South Carolina. (5)

Elder Roger Hunt was killed in February 1987 in Lisbon, Portugal by a security guard who thought he had stolen a car. (6)

Because of political unrest, five missionaries, two Americans, Elders Jeffrey Ball and Todd Wilson, and three Peruvians, Elders Manuel Hidalgo, Cristian Ugarte, and Oscar Zapata were killed in Bolivia and Peru on May 24, 1989, August 22, 1990, and March 6, 1991. (7)

Elder Gale Critchfield was stabbed to death in Dublin, Ireland on May 27, 1990. (8)

Most recently, Elder José Mackintosh was killed in Ufa, Russia on October 17, 1998. (9)

More than simply a summary listing of names, dates, and places, The Church of Jesus Christ views these slain missionaries as martyrs. Their names "will be engraved forever in the history of this Church as those who lived as faithful servants of God and died as martyrs to His eternal work[s]." (10) In that light, this paper will focus on one of these tragic events, that of the assassinations of Elders Ball and Wilson in La Paz, Bolivia on May 24, 1989. Elders Ball and Wilson were murdered by a terrorist organization which associated them and The Church of Jesus Christ with American imperialist activities, which assassination not only resulted in grief in their homes, church, and communities, and the arrest and prosecution of their assailants, but combined with other tragedies, eventually resulted in the decision to temporarily remove all North American missionaries from the area. This paper will examine their martyrdom and its consequences. It will try to reconstruct what happened the night they were killed, as well as the climate that led to it. Then it will seek to understand the motives of the revolutionary group that claimed responsibility for the murders, the Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación (Armed Liberation Forces-FAL) Zarate Willka, and whether they specifically targeted the missionaries. It will look to the responses, both in Bolivia and the United States, as family members and friends mourned and governments were outraged. Finally, this paper will show what befell this group, as well as the aftermath regarding The Church of Jesus Christ in this region during the ensuing years, including my personal experiences as a missionary in the Bolivia Cochabamba mission. Through understanding the circumstances surrounding the assassinations of these two martyrs, their memories will be preserved and the cause they died for will be honored.

Elders Ball and Wilson

Jeffrey Brent Ball was born December 8, 1968, the second of three children born to Alfred Brent Ball and Lois Joyce Bates Ball of Wanship, outside Coalville, Utah, who operated a family business, the Rafter-B Gas 'N Grub. (11) He was a stockily built athlete and an all-state football player for three consecutive years, acting as the varsity team captain for two of those years. (12) He was also active in student politics at North Summit High School in Coalville, Utah, where he served as student body vice president. (13) His older sister, Wendy, described him as "a powerful authority who also had a caring soft side he tried to hide but couldn't." (14) His desire to serve a mission was manifested by his selling his Jeep that he "dearly loved" to finance it. (15) He entered the MTC in June 1988, and served contemporaneously with his sister, who labored in the Guatemala Guatemala City North Mission. At eighteen, their younger brother Greg was preparing to serve his mission. (16)

Todd Ray Wilson was born May 5, 1969. While he came from a much larger family and was not involved in the same extra-curricular activities as Jeffrey Ball, both shared a similar dedication to the ideal of missionary work. He was the seventh of ten children born to mine electrician Avril Gray Wilson and his wife Elaine Bunderson Wilson of Wellington, a small town about five miles southeast of Price, Utah. He had been an honor student at Carbon High School, and had begun attending the College of Eastern Utah, while working as the night manager at Wendy's Restaurant in Price. But in order to save more money for his mission, he dropped his classes and continued to work late at night. He had "looked forward to his mission above all else." (17) He entered the MTC in July 1988. At the time of his death, his brother Brad was preparing to depart for his mission. (18)

Terrorism in Bolivia

When Elders Ball and Wilson arrived in Bolivia in 1988, they entered an environment of severe political unrest and anti-Mormon antagonism in the nation and in Latin America generally. The first violent attacks against The Church of Jesus Christ occurred in Colombia where two meetinghouses were bombed eight times. (19) Between 1984 and 1989, targets of The Church of Jesus Christ in Latin America were hit by terrorists sixty-two times. The majority of these attacks (46) occurred in Chile, though five attacks took place in Bolivia. The Church of Jesus Christ in Latin America was attacked in this period more frequently than any other American-based bank, business, Church, or other institution. (20)

One group that specifically targeted The Church of Jesus Christ in Bolivia was known as Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación Zarate Willka (hereafter referred to as FAL Zarate Willka), named for a nineteenth century Indian hero. (21) FAL Zarate Willka was apparently formed around 1985, but was relatively unknown. It first surfaced in August 1988 in connection with a failed attack on former Secretary of State George Shultz, who was in La Paz for talks with government officials. A bomb exploded near his motorcade, but no one was hurt. The group later claimed responsibility for an attack on the Bolivian Parliament and caused a blackout in La Paz with another bombing. Later that year on December 20, 1989, protesting American intervention in Panama, they attacked the U.S. Embassy in a failed attempt to assassinate U.S. Ambassador Robert Gelbard. (22)

This group had previously assaulted the Church on several occasions. At one point, not long before the assassinations, it bombed the Villa Victoria chapel in Elder Ball and Wilson's area, which sustained severe damage to the entrance and exterior facade. (23) A former sister missionary, Lynn (Skie) Florman, who had been working in a nearby area at the time, and who saw the chapel the next day, describes:

At one point, the chapel in Villa Victoria (a few blocks from where the Elders were killed, and in their area) had its doors blown off in an explosion just after several members had left a choir practice one evening. We saw it the next day, and were shown how the intruders had sawed one part of the back fence enough to be able to swing it up and crawl under it to get into the church grounds. Witnesses that night said that they had seen a cardboard box under the pew inside the front door, which is where the explosion occurred. All of us were concerned, especially because the graffiti written on the side of the chapel said "Americans go home." (24)

Other chapels were robbed, and another nearby chapel was nearly bombed. A young man took the bomb home to his family, where somehow, it never detonated. This same sister, Lynn Florman, visited that family the next day, who lived in her area. She reports:

It seems a couple weeks later, we were talking with a family in the Barrio Alto San Pedro about an incident that had happened after Mutual the night before. This family lived across the street from the chapel. That night their young son had seen a cardboard box under the pew by the front door and had brought it home thinking that it belonged to one of the members. The next morning he showed it to his mother, who opened the box. Inside was a bomb that had not detonated. The family left their home and called police, who came to investigate the bomb. According to this family, the bomb had two wires, one which acted as a backup. The police told them that, although the first wire was disconnected, the second was still intact, and they had no explanation why the bomb had not gone off. The mother was convinced that it was a miracle. Again the graffiti on the chapel said "Americans go home." (25)

As a result of these experiences, she reported the incidents to the Mission President, Steven R. Wright, who did not feel inspired to remove missionaries from the area, but counseled them to live close to the spirit and follow that inspiration. Not long after, tragedy transpired.

The Assassinations

For several months, members of FAL Zarate Willka had been determining the schedules of the missionaries. Police discovered that one group member, Susana Zapana Hannover, had been a member of The Church of Jesus Christ; (26) another had been receiving discussions from the zone leader over the area. (27) A rumor later surfaced of a hit list that the group held which named several other missionaries and Americans in the area. (28) On Wednesday, May 24, 1989, after returning at about 9:30 p.m., the Elders left their apartment. There are two theories explaining why they left. One says that they had simply returned home that evening without having eaten dinner. Since they were hungry, they decided to eat. Thus, they were returning to their apartment at about 10:20 that evening. (29) The other idea is that the assassins lured them out by having someone call them saying that the sisters needed a film projector. Such a call seemed plausible since the sisters didn't have a telephone. They were then followed back to their apartment as they returned at about 10:20 p.m. (30)

As they were about to enter their apartment, a yellow compact car (possibly a Volkswagen) drove by, and they were shot with 9 mm machine gun fire.

One Elder was killed instantly as a bullet penetrated his heart. The other received a spray of bullets in his stomach and back. He remained conscious for a few minutes, then passed away in an ambulance. (31)

Elder Ball and Elder Wilson shared an apartment with two other missionaries, Elder Thayne Carlson and Elder V. Shane Mylroie. (32) Elder Mylroie was first to find them. They called an ambulance and notified President Wright. Following the martyrdoms, Elder Carlson had a very interesting, spiritual experience about that night, his father, and the following days. (33)

Within half an hour of the slayings, a note from FAL Zarate Willka was received at the newspaper offices of El Matunino Ultima Hora de La Paz. It read:

"Yankees and their Bolivian lackeys' violation of our national sovereignty will not remain unpunished. The Yankee invaders who come to massacre our peasant brethren are warned, as are their local slaves. We, the poor, have no other road than to rise up in arms. Our hatred is implacable, and our war is to the death." (34)

Motivations

Why did this group attack The Church of Jesus Christ along with Bolivian and U.S. Government targets? Why were missionaries targeted? Why specifically Elders Ball and Wilson?

At first, beyond the note received at newspaper offices, officials knew little about FAL Zarate Willka's philosophy. One United States House Foreign Affairs Committee member theorized that the attack could have come from the political left or right, "the left, because they [the missionaries] represent anti-communist America; the right because they proselytize the Indians, and (those on the right) want them left alone and unchanged. The right includes the big landowners and mine owners." (35) Some guessed that this group might be a branch of the Sendero Luminoso, a prominent Peruvian terrorist group. (36)

At this time, the United States had three main goals in Bolivia, "fostering democracy, supporting economic stabilization and development and reducing production of coca, the plant used to make cocaine," (37) of which the single largest interest was "the impact that production of the coca and cocaine has on the body politic up here. The No. 1 U.S. interest in Bolivia is doing away with that problem." (38) The general climate in Bolivia reflected dissatisfaction with these policies. One former sister missionary reports being accosted by groups of students demanding to know why Bolivia should change its coca culture because the United States had a drug problem. (39) Even years later in 1995, I remember seeing graffiti asserting that "Coca is not cocaine nor Coca-Cola."

It was early theorized by Bolivian and U.S. officials that this group resisted U.S. anti-drug policies, possibly being connected with drug traffickers. (40) However, this drug theory later became seen as only part of a larger problem as officials discovered FAL Zarate Willka's Marxist ideology, which was mixed with the philosophies of an Indian Rights movement known as Katarismo. (41) Such findings were further confirmed as authorities learned that one or more of the rebels had received bomb training in Cuba. "It's pure Cuban terrorism, I don't think there is any question about it," said Ambassador Robert Gelbard. (42) Thus, Bolivian Marxist ideologues and politicians such as FAL Zarate Willka considered United States anti-drug and military aid programs as violating their national sovereignty. In addition to using the United States as a scapegoat for Bolivia's problems, FAL Zarate Willka "sought revenge for their political party's poor showing in Bolivia's recent national election," on May 15, blaming the United States. for this as well, claimed Gelbard. (43)

But why did FAL Zarate Willka attack religious targets because of their opposition to the United States? Simply put, they viewed The Church of Jesus Christ as an imperialist agent of U.S. interests. While this may seem unreasonable to an organization that constantly affirms its political neutrality and disavows any connection with any government, according to leftist groups, "the connection is so apparent that there is no need to explain or justify it." (44) Latin America does not share the tradition of separation of church and state found in the United States. On the contrary, religion has played a prominent role in politics since the European colonization of the 1500s. Their idea of imperialism is not limited to territorial expansion, but "involves a whole series of political, cultural, and religious means," (45) including The Church of Jesus Christ. This view of The Church of Jesus Christ as Yankee is reinforced by a heavy American missionary presence, midwestern worship styles, centralization of the Church in the United States, and the Church's doctrinal justification of the U.S. Constitution (Doctrine and Covenants 98:4-10; 101:76-80). This view is further substantiated by the tithes and offerings that go directly to Salt Lake, The Church's extensive corporate holdings, and the impressive structure and location of its buildings. (46)

It is generally felt that this group targeted American missionaries because they were such an easy mark. Their white shirts, ties, and name tags made them stand out prominently, to say nothing of their generally fair complexion and relative height. Elders Ball and Wilson worked in a particularly poor, rough section of La Paz that was "was well known for its brothels and bars, and the fact that most of the people in that part of town wouldn't say anything about what they saw." (47) Indeed, the United States felt it necessary to offer a $500,000 reward for information leading to the capture of the assassins, in an attempt to induce individuals to come forward. (48) Finally, while some have speculated that Elders Ball and Wilson were not the intended targets, that "the group made a mistake and then decided to run with it" and the assassination was "nothing but a tragic error," (49) the evidence suggesting that the missionaries were staked out, might have been lured from their apartment, as well as the fact that the group particularly targeted The Church of Jesus Christ, and had even bombed a chapel in the Elders' own area, combined with the assertion of the U.S. Consul in Bolivia that the terrorists could have assassinated practically any member of the U.S. diplomatic mission had they merely desired an American target (50) overwhelmingly suggests that Elders Ball and Wilson were specifically marked by the terrorists for assassination.

Reaction in the Mission and at Home

Word spread quickly in the mission. Some described their reaction as "devastating;" (51) others said that because of prior experiences, they were "saddened, but not really surprised." (52)

One said that when he heard the news, he "was very, very shocked. Tears came to my eyes as I thought of these two young men and their families." (53) "I speak for the other missionaries when I say I'm scared right now. We're real scared," said Elder Mark Huffaker, a former companion of Elder Ball to Deseret News reporters. ""We're all kind of scared right now," echoed Elder Brad Giles, who served with Elder Wilson. "I guess it's fear of the unknown. But everyone still wants to finish their missions." (54)

Ryan Young's experience with his companion, Elder Wilson's former MTC companion, was especially interesting. He recounts:

I still can vividly remember my experience with him on the night they were shot. I remember that we had gotten done with a charla [discussion] late that night, and were walking home at about the time they were shot. For most of the day, we had been joking around, and taking it easy, but I remember feeling very, very angry for no real reason. Elder Wayment [his companion] kept asking me why I was so upset but I couldn't tell him why. At the time, we were . . . not far from were they were shot. Anyway, we arrived home, and went to bed. About 1:00 am we were awakened by our landlady who said to come quick, that there was an important phone call. I got up and ran down to the phone. On the other end was Elder Eastland . . ., he had also been a companion with Elder Wayment, and knew that Elder Wayment had been companions with Elder Wilson. Anyway, he told me to get Wayment right now. I ran back down the hall and told my companion to hurry and get the phone that it was Eastland. When he got to the phone he spends about the next five minutes saying things like there was no way, and that he couldn't believe it. Finally he came back to our room and told me what happened. He was crying the whole time, and I sat there in total shock. It was almost impossible to believe that something like that could happen. In many ways the whole thing didn't seem real. (55)

Similar response was heard in Utah. That night in Wellington, Stake President Roger Branch interviewed Elder Wilson's younger brother, Brad, as he prepared for his mission. A few hours later, he and the bishop went to the Wilson home to notify them of the murders. Brad was asleep on the couch, but awoke when he heard his parents crying. President Branch then witnessed Sister Wilson whom he described as an "angel," consoling her family. (56)

The next day, the First Presidency issued a statement reading in part: "We are grieved to learn of the assassination of two of our missionaries . . . We regret that anyone would think that these . . ., who have been sent to preach the gospel of peace, would be characterized as enemies of any group. They have died as martyrs in the cause of the Lord." (57)

Community reaction was one of shock. Coalville Utah Stake President Myron Richins said, "This is something we can't explain. It takes something greater and more powerful than us." (58) Jane Caspar, a friend of the Ball family explained the general feeling, "No one can comprehend it; it's just unbelievable. It's something that happens somewhere else to someone else's kids." (59) Another friend, Terry McQueen lamented, "He was there doing what the Lord wanted him to do, so why did this happen?" (60) Later that year, the football team that Jeff Ball had captained dedicated their season to him and went on to win the 1A High School Championship with an 11-1 season. (61) A scholarship fund was also established in his memory. (62)

The bodies of the missionaries arrived in Salt Lake City on Delta Flight 705 on Sunday, May 28. Awaiting the plane's arrival were Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve, Elder Russell C. Taylor of the Second Quorum of the Seventy, and Elder Ball's mother, father, grandfather, brother, and sister, Wendy, who had taken a leave of absence from her mission. The Wilsons chose to attend their Sunday meetings in Wellington, and had asked a family friend, a local mortician, to pick up Elder Wilson's body. Elder Ballard told reporters at the airport, "These missionaries returned to us today in these caskets have fulfilled a noble service . . . we pray that hearts will be softened and tragedies like this will never occur again to such wonderful, good men who have devoted their lives to preaching the gospel of peace." (63)

The funerals for both elders were held at noon on Tuesday, May 30 in their respective hometowns. Elder Ball's funeral was attended by President Ezra Taft Benson and his counselor Thomas S. Monson, as well as Elder Ballard and Elder Monte J. Brough of the Seventy and over one thousand guests. (64) President Benson's other counselor, Gordon B. Hinckley, presided at Elder Wilson's funeral, which was also attended by Elder L. Tom Perry of the Twelve, Elder Taylor, and seven hundred others. (65) "Missionaries are so dear to the entire church that when one is lost through death the entire church grieves," said President Hinckley. (66) President Monson affirmed, "It is no small thing to have every missionary parent praying for you and knowing that your hearts are filled with sorrow." He continued, "I think your son would say, 'Do not grieve, mother. Do not sorrow, father. I am on the Lord's errand and he may do with me as he sees fit.'" (67) Elder Ballard stated that out of about 447,969 missionaries who had served, only 525 had lost their lives. (68) And of those, Elder Perry declared, only 17 had died as martyrs in this cause. (69) President Hinckley reminded, "He might have given his life in other causes. He could not have given it in a greater cause than this." (70) Wendy Ball and Dan and Diane Wilson, siblings of the Elders, also spoke. Dan read from Elder Wilson's missionary journal, "I know that my call was inspired of God and there is someone in Bolivia that only I can touch." (71) Wendy commented on a humorous missionary incident of her brother's saying, "He always told us to keep a sense of humor." (72) Dan and Diane Wilson together concluded their brother's tribute, reciting what they felt their brother might say, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith." (73)

Similar feelings were expressed at a memorial service held Sunday May 28 in the Sopocachi Stake Center in La Paz, Bolivia. More than 1,500 people attended this meeting, including 120 missionaries. Church leaders and former companions expressed condolences and renewed their dedication to missionary work. (74) President Wright may have shared a dream he had which Elder Ballard later quoted in General Conference:

I saw these two elders dressed in white, standing at the doors of a beautiful building. They were greeting numerous people, who also were dressed in white as they entered the building. It was obvious from their dress that those who entered were Bolivians. I envisioned the temple that will someday be built in Bolivia. Elders Wilson and Ball were ushering those they had prepared to receive the gospel in the spirit world into the temple to witness the vicarious ordinances being performed in their behalf. This dream has been a great comfort to me and has helped me to understand and accept their deaths. (75)

Following the assassinations, all missionaries were ordered to remain in their rooms for one full week. (76) They were told only to leave when absolutely necessary, and then to wear preparation day clothing instead of regular missionary attire. (77) Members brought in their meals. (78) While they were allowed to attend their meetings on Sunday, including the memorial service, (79) and were reported to be "in good spirits," (80) that week was still difficult. Many worried about their investigators, who would not receive regular contact, and who, if the missionaries were transferred or redeployed, might not be contacted again for "quite some time." (81) Parents of the missionaries were allowed to contact their sons and daughters during this time. Elder Young remembered "how upset my Dad was when he heard the news on the radio on the way to work." (82) Another mother expressed of her son, "I just don't know how I'm going to live through the next year if he stays there." (83) It was a tense situation. "I don't think anyone felt secure at the time," expressed Elder Young. (84)

When missionaries did begin to leave their apartments, they did so at first without wearing their name tags, (85) though shortly after they resumed doing so. Elder M. Russell Ballard, accompanied by Elder Charles Didier of the Seventy, toured nine missions in early June in Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador. During this visit, they "gave instructions to the missionaries concerning safety precautions they need to observe, including returning to their apartments by 9:30 p.m. and how to travel and conduct themselves in the present climate." The Church leaders were accompanied by Richard T. Bretzing, managing director of Church security and a retired FBI agent, who gave the missionaries "guidelines for taking precautionary measures," such as to "change [their] routine every day and not do the same things at the same time." (86)

There was a push to pair North American missionaries with Latin missionaries as a precautionary measure, but as one Elder recalls,

"I don't know how strict that was. . . . From what I recall of the situation, Zarate Willka had issued a statement saying that any Latins caught with the North Americans would be considered North Americans as well and be killed. I was paired up with a North American companion and moved to the very south part of the mission. If my memory serves me correctly, the immediate area was closed and surrounding areas were populated with strictly Latin Elders."

(87)

Despite these precautions, trouble continued to brew. Missionaries were pulled out over the fourth of July in Huanuni, Oruro, a 'hot spot,' where in an unreported incident in the mid- 1970s the Elders' home was blown up in their absence, killing the members who were staying there. (88) Sister Kenna Manwaring (formerly Anderson) related her experiences during the evacuation:

I was serving in a mining town called Huanuni way up in the Andes and because of some unrest and threats in other mining towns we were pulled out of there over the fourth of July and all missionaries had to stay indoors. Because we were in a small town and there were no phones, our zone leaders had to come out and find us both after the Elders were killed and when they pulled us out over the 4th of July. There were no buses in town and the buses that came in and out of town all quit at sundown so when our zone leaders came out they had to look for us. By the time they found us on the 3rd of July it was late. We then had to try and find the Elders so that we could leave on the last bus. I remember running clear across town to their dinner appointment hoping to find them and having very little time to do it. We barely made it. (89)

Less than a week later, during the evening of Monday, July 10, 1989, the Hamacas Ward chapel in Santa Cruz, Bolivia was bombed. According to Erwin Birnbaumer, Paraíso Stake President, the bomb caused an estimated $16,000 in damage. While he asserted that "a bomb is not going to scare any of us," the First Presidency responded to the general political unrest by reassigning some American missionaries in Bolivia and Peru to other countries and sending others home early. Mission presidents were contacted directly by members of the First Presidency, and informed that "all (American) missionaries with release dates between now [July] and December will be sent home this month and next." While a few Americans remained in the mission, most were sent home or redeployed. (90) Any new American missionaries who arrived were dark-complexioned or Hispanic, "not blondies." (91) These changes reduced the ratio of North American missionaries to their Latin counterparts to about 30/70. (92) Six American sisters were reassigned to the Texas Houston Spanish speaking Mission. Sister Anderson, who was evacuated from Huanuni, was one of these. She wrote:

It was very difficult for me to make that transfer because . . . [I] had already grown to love Bolivia and the Bolivian people. . . .That was not an easy thing for me . . . However, we each received a new letter from the Prophet telling us that we had been called to serve a mission and assigned to serve in Bolivia and now the assignment had been changed. Seeing his signature changed my feelings and I knew that I needed to serve as I was asked. It wasn't easy but it was right. (93)

Government Response

The impact of the assassinations was not limited to The Church of Jesus Christ and its members, however. Political, not religious factors motivated the assassinations, and politics soon became involved.

The Governments of Bolivia and the United States both responded with outrage shortly following the attack. Utah's senior senator, Jake Garn (R-UT) expressed, "Such wanton and cowardly acts are among the most disgusting and callous actions of which human beings are capable. They are unforgivable under any circumstances but seem especially so when the victims are young men who have made great personal sacrifices and dedicated themselves to serve their church and fellow man." Orrin Hatch (R-UT) echoed his colleague, calling the killings "a heinous act" of terrorism; "their service was in no way political, and they were innocents in this despicable act." (94)

Helen Lane, Bolivian desk officer for the U.S. State Department, expressed the Bolivians' dismay at the slayings,

The Bolivian government - from the president on down - is shocked by the crime. . . . The work of Mormon missionaries is quite well regarded down there. Several newspapers have written editorials condemning the murders. It was a shock because violent crime is not all that common in Bolivia. These were the first assassinations in memory, at least in several years. (95)

Consequently, as is permitted any time an American citizen is killed by terrorists, an FBI probe was sent to Bolivia on May 30 to investigate the slayings. (96) The investigation included five or six members who brought ballistics laboratory equipment, polygraphs, and other equipment. One agent, Michael McPheters, commented on the Bolivians' lack of equipment, "the only big case they'd ever had was when terrorists tried to kill George Shultz. They had one microscope that looked like it came from a high school biology class about twenty years ago. They didn't have cars and they didn't have many guns either." (97) Two of the agents served as liaison between the Embassy and the Minister of the Interior, which heads the Bolivian police. One worked the ballistics equipment, while the other operated the lie detector. McPheters hit the streets with a Bolivian policeman, where they "went through it with a fine-tooth comb and developed witnesses who saw and heard things," in an effort to reconstruct the chronology of the crime. The decision to offer a $500,000 reward was made on June 17 to encourage local residents to come forward with information. (98) While this may have helped, Robert Wharten, press attaché at the U.S. Embassy said that the arrests were "the result of good, solid police work on the part of the Bolivians. The Bolivians should be credited for them." (99)

The initial arrests took place over one week. On Saturday, June 24, after following a "trail of suspects," police arrested Constantino Yujra Loza, (100) a sociology student, and his cousin, who was later released. Yujra declared that the police "approached me and told me 'I have an arrest warrant,' whereupon I resisted and even tried to escape, so they grabbed me and started to hit me brutally until they had me on the ground. They did the same thing to my cousin." (101) Yujra later confessed to having participated in the attack on George Shultz. (102) By Wednesday, June 28, police had also arrested Dr. Gabriel Rojas Bilbao, alleged ideological leader of FAL Zarate Willka, and Tema Salazar Mamani. (103) These arrests led to the naming of brothers Nelson and Félix Encinas Laguna as prime suspects of the bomb on Parliament, and according to Information Minister Hermán Antelo, there were also "indications of their participation in the murders" of Elders Ball and Wilson. Also suspected were two individuals known as "Horacio" and "El Sapo" (the toad), presumably the leaders of the group. Cnl. Antonio Rojas, a Bolivian officer assigned to the case, stated that while they were staking out the home of Susana Zapana (the suspect who had been a member of The Church of Jesus Christ),

At 11:30 p.m., Susana hadn't arrived to tell us who Horacio was. . . . But two young men did arrive and began to knock on the door and nobody opened it . . . So one of our men went to speak with them, and immediately they both ran away. We didn't know who they were. . . . One of our men ran, 'stop, stop, stop,' and threw them both to the ground. We didn't know who they were, but afterwards they turned out to be Felix and Nelson Encinas. (104)

Despite these arrests, several members of FAL Zarate Willka remained at large, including Johnny Justino Peralta Espinoza, the supposed ringleader of the group, and Susana Zapana Hannover, the former member of The Church of Jesus Christ, as well as a cousin of the Encinas brothers. The families of these individuals considered them to have disappeared. The trial began soon after Ambassador Gelbard declared to officials of The Church of Jesus Christ during a Salt Lake visit that "I have made it crystal clear to the president of Bolivia that this is of the greatest importance to us and we want to bring this to the end of the investigation.". (105)

However, the trial progressed very slowly. The first judge assigned to the case, Nestor Loredo, resigned on October 4 as a consequence of anonymous telephoned death threats. (106) The second judge also resigned because he anticipated the trial to be thrown out of court for lack of evidence. (107) By February 8, 1990, the trial seemed to be entering into its final phases, when Judge David Rivas Gradin felt that the key testimonies of two women would enable him to reach a verdict. (108) However, after the resignation of the first two judges, Rivas ordered the five suspects-Yujra, the Encinas brothers, Dr. Rojas, and Simón (Tema?) Mamani-to remain in prison without bail. As a result, the prisoners protested their innocence, and began staging a hunger strike on March 31. Rivas (who was not allowed to rule on the case), along with the prosecuting attorney, José Rivero, sent a plea to the Justice Court of La Paz to appoint a new judge. However, according to a report by the U.S. State Department, "Patterns of Global Terrorism, 1990," a new judge had still not been appointed by the end of 1990. However, a judge was appointed in 1991, and by June the case was predicted to conclude sometime over that summer (winter in the southern hemisphere). (109)

Finally, on October 9, 1991, the U.S. State Department announced that the defendants had been sentenced to long prison terms. María Sanchez Carlos, head of the department's Bolivia desk wrote Senator Hatch, "There are eight defendants, three of whom are at large, and they got 30 years. The other five, who are currently in jail, got sentences from five to 20 years." The sentences were expected to be appealed to the Bolivia Supreme Court. (110)

Police continued to watch the homes of the remaining members of FAL Zarate Willka. On July 20, 1990, at about 6:45 a.m., a group of agents stopped a student, Juan Domingo Peralta, brother of Johnny Peralta, who was going to take a test at the local University. When Juan attempted to hide, the agents shot him. According to witnesses, after the act, a commander of the group realized, "it's not him, we were wrong." After abandoning the body, Juan's mother and sister took him to the Hospital Juan XXIII accompanied by one of the vigilant police officers, where he was refused medical attention, as police had ordered personnel to "not assist the terrorist." While the sister tried to get the order reversed, the mother watched her son die. (111)

As a result of this tragedy and a sickness sometime later, where he allegedly "thought he was dying," Johnny Peralta returned to his mother's home, where police promptly arrested him. Peralta later stated:

I think that my brother's death was a kind of message to me, a message that was expressed in the most crude, the most violent, the most bloody manner possible. I took that message from the embassy as a type of blackmail, pressure, and action with respect to my person. For me, the death of my brother meant that I had to give myself up at some point, I was a fugitive for three years. (112)

Johnny Peralta claimed, "I am politically responsible for the actions of Zarate Willka, beginning with the attack against the companies of multimillionaire Mario Mercado to the last attack" including the attack on former Secretary George Shultz, the attempted assassination of Ambassador Robert Gelbard, the bombing of the Bolivian Parliament building, and the murders of Elders Jeffrey Brent Ball and Todd Ray Wilson. This action resulted in the suspension of the trial for the other five defendants. At the time, Judge German Urquiza had been scheduled to decide whether the defendants had been accessories to the shooting. Don LeFevre, spokesman for The Church of Jesus Christ, commended "the Bolivian authorities for their persistence in the pursuit of justice." (113)

Further Developments

Unfortunately, tragedy in South America did not end with the deaths of Elders Wilson and Ball. On August 22, 1990, at about 1:30 p.m., in Huancayo, Peru, members of the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA) ambushed Elder Manuel Antonio Hidalgo of Arequipa, Peru and his companion Elder Cristian Andreani Ugarte of Trujillo, Peru, serving in the Peru Lima East Mission. The missionaries were apparently on their way to a lunch appointment. Both Elders were beaten, one was stabbed in the throat, and they were both shot once in the head. Their bodies were found with a sign saying, "This is how imperialists' supporters die." The First Presidency released a statement in which they expressed shock and sadness and "pray[ed] for an end to the hatred and misunderstanding which led to this tragedy." (114)

Following on the heels of this tragedy, Elder Oscar Zapata of Piura, Peru, who had been serving in the Peru Lima East Mission for just two weeks, was shot on March 6, 1991 after getting off a bus in the remote town of Tarma, Peru. No one saw where the shot came from that killed him. (115)

As a result of these shootings, North American missionaries were further reduced in Bolivia and Peru. According to Elder Thomas Vea, who served in the Cochabamba Bolivia Mission from March 1990 to March 1992, "90% of the missionaries were Bolivians" at this time, as no new American missionaries were called at this time and those few already in Bolivia completed their missions. (116) By 1993, all North American missionaries had been removed from these missions. Once the missionaries' safety in these areas was determined, they began returning about the Fall (Spring-Southern Hemisphere) of 1994. Because I arrived in Bolivia with the seventh group from this time in March 1995, I personally witnessed and marked this return. During the first year (September 1994-September 1995) in the Bolivia Cochabamba mission, only American Elders arrived, with the exception of two sisters who arrived with the third group. As I suppose, once these missionaries' safety had been reasonably ascertained, groups of American sisters arrived between October 1995 and March 1996. Following a few months when very few missionaries arrived, regular groups of Elders and Sisters began arriving in September 1996. As a result of this particular timing, the groups of sisters returned home concurrently with the second half of the first year of Elders, my group being the first one to be accompanied by a group of sisters in February 1997. By July 1997, less than three years after the return began, all of the initial American missionaries who had arrived in the first two years since the mission was reopened to Americans had returned home (with the exception of two Elders who had arrived in February 1996, and five who had arrived between June and August 1996). During this time, the ratio of Latin to North American missionaries was about 70/30; since that time, I understand that it has changed to about 50/50.

The circumstances surrounding the politically motivated assassinations of Elders Ball and Wilson affected people of many different groups. Missionaries at the time coped with their grief. Many American missionaries finished their missions outside of Latin America, giving many Latins the opportunity to learn to operate The Church of Jesus Christ independent of Americans, skills which the missionaries could later apply in their wards and stakes. In the mid-1990s, the American missionaries who were the first to return and their native counterparts were effectively pioneers, as both groups learned to readjust to different cultures. The event shocked and saddened many Bolivians, and doors were opened to the preaching of the gospel that might otherwise have remained closed. Government officials of both the United States and Bolivia employed their resources in bringing the assassins to justice. The accused assassins suffered great depravations to their persons and families, including the murder of a brother. (117) The general membership of The Church of Jesus Christ was saddened by their death, and the small communities of Coalville and Wellington were especially shocked. Their parents and siblings learned to deal with the absence of their brothers and sons, though, as one sister of Elder Wilson expressed over ten years later, "It is something you never forget." (118)

Yet despite the sorrow and grieving, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has continued to "roll forth unto the ends of the earth, as the stone which is cut out of the mountain without hands shall roll forth, until it has filled the whole earth" (Doctrine and Covenants 65:2). Membership in Bolivia alone has nearly tripled from 40,000 to 120,000 in the twelve years since the assassinations. (119) As the prophet Joseph Smith declared, "persecutions may rage . . . but the truth of God will go forth . . . till . . . the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done." (120)

Bibliography

(Note: The bulk of these sources, including newspaper articles, e-mail correspondence, and web documents, are compiled online at <http://www.geocities.com/papers/articlesandsources.html>).



Primary Sources

Published Sources

Periodicals: Cited by Author

Avant, Gerry, "Elder Wilson 'Worthy of God's Best'," Church News, June 3, 1989, 3.

Ballard, M. Russell, "Duties, Rewards, and Risks," Ensign, November 1989, 33.

Davidson, Lee, "Bolivian Government Shocked by Slayings," Deseret News, May 31, 1989, A2.

____________, "FBI Sent to Bolivia to Probe Slayings," Deseret News, May 30, 1989, A1.

____________, "Death Threats Slow Murder Trial in Bolivia" Deseret News, June 2, 1991, A1.

____________, "Terrorists Relatively Easy on LDS Targets," Deseret News, July 22, 1989, B1.

____________, "Were Slayings Really by Leftist Terrorists?,"Deseret News, May 26, 1989, A1.

Funk, Marianne, "Elder Wilson Is Praised for Giving Ultimate Sacrifice in City of Peace," Deseret News, May 31, 1989, A1.

____________, "LDS Church Counsels Missionaries in Bolivia on Safety Precautions," Deseret News, June 21, 1989, B1.

Hart, John, "Church Leaders Eulogize Slain Elders," Church News, June 3, 1989, 3.

Jacobsen-Wells, Joann and Jerry Spangler, "2 LDS Missionaries Assassinated in Bolivia," Deseret News, May 25, 1989, A1.

Jacobsen-Wells, JoAnn, "2 Slain LDS Missionaries Have `Gone Home to God'," Deseret News, May 31, 1989, A1.

Jacobsen-Wells, JoAnn and Arva Smith, "Anguished Families and Friends of Slain Missionaries Ask `Why?'," Deseret News, May 26, 1989, A1.

Jorgensen, Chris, "Persecution of Mormon Missionaries Becomes Violent," Salt Lake Tribune, April 7, 1991, A3.

Kelly, Cathy, "Bodies of Slain Missionaries Are Flown Home from Bolivia," Deseret News, May 29, 1989, A1.

Kimball, Spencer W., ""The Uttermost Parts of the Earth,"" Ensign, July 1979, 2.

Knowlton David, "Missionaries and Terror: The Assassination of Two Elders in Bolivia," Sunstone, August 1989, 10-15.

Phillips, Michael, "Bolivia Arrests Rebel in '89 Murder of 2 LDS Missionaries," Salt Lake Tribune, July 21, 1992, A1.

Sanchez, Sheila, "2 Missionaries Shot by Rebels, Police Say," Deseret News, August 24, 1990, B1.

Scarlet, Peter, "LDS Church Is a Top Target of Terrorists," Salt Lake Tribune, January 18, 1992, A8.

__________, "Mormon Missions Less Dangerous Than in the Past," Salt Lake Tribune, April 5, 1997, B2.

Spangler, Jerry, "Missionaries Resolve to Stay in Bolivia," Deseret News, May 27, 1989, A1.

West, Brian T., "LDS Church Reassigning Missionaries,"Deseret News, July 12, 1989, A1.



Periodicals: No Author Cited

"2 Missionaries are Found Dead," Church News, December 22, 1979, 12.

"2 Missionaries Killed in Peru," Deseret News, August 23, 1990, B1.

"2 Suspected of Killing Missionaries Sought," Deseret News, July 1, 1989, A1.

"Bail Revoked for Suspect in Missionary Deaths," Deseret News, April 20, 2000, B2.

"Bolivia Arrests 2 Sought in Deaths of 2 Missionaries,"Deseret News, July 2, 1989, A1.

"Bolivia to Get New Judge in Missionary Killings," Deseret News, October 6, 1989, A4.

"Bolivia Tragedy Plays Role in Conversions," Church News, September 9, 1989, 5.

"Bolivia Trial Nears Conclusion in Slaying of 2 Missionaries," Deseret News, February 9, 1990, A3.

"Bolivians Express Love for Missionaries," Church News, June 3, 1989, 4.

"Church Honors Missionaries Who Died in South America," Ensign 19:7 (July 1989): 74.

"Church Leaders Eulogize Slain Elders,"Church News, June 3, 1989, 3.

"Companions to the End," Church News, June 3, 1989, 1.

"Families Honor Slain Sons' Memories: Elder Ball Touched Lives for Good," Church News, June 3, 1989, 4.

"FBI Agent Honored for His Role in Bolivia Probe," Deseret News, April 6, 1990, D8.

"FBI, Bolivia Still Searching for Killers of Missionaries," Deseret News, October 3, 1989, A2.

"First Presidency Grieves Over Deaths of 'Martyrs'," Church News May 27, 1999, 4.

"'Greater Love Hath No Man,'" Church News, June 3, 1989, 16.

"Gunmen Shoot, Kill, Two Peruvian Missionaries," Church News, August 25, 1990, 4.

"LDS Missionary Slain in Russia," Deseret News, October 18, 1998, A1.

"Lessons from a Tragedy in Bolivia," Deseret News, May 26, 1989, A8.

"Long Prison Terms Given to Killers of 2 Missionaries," Deseret News, October 11, 1991, B1.

"Memorial Service Is Held in La Paz for 2 Slain Elders," Deseret News, May 29, 1989, A2.

"Mission Service Not Unduly Risky: 'Members of Church Hold Front-Line Position in Contest for Souls of Men," Church News, October 7, 1989, 9.

"Missionary Slain in Knife Attack in Ireland," Church News, June 2, 1990, 3.

"Missionaries Still in Rooms," Deseret News, May 30, 1989, B1.

"No Bail for 5 Suspected of Killing Elders," Deseret News, April 4, 1990, B2.

"Peru Missionaries 'Eager to Continue,'" Church News, September 15, 1990, 3.

"Precautions Taken Against Terrorism," Church News, July 15, 1989, 10.

"Sadness Marks Missionaries' 'Homecoming,'"Church News, June 3, 1989, 3.

"Shooting Claims Peruvian LDS Missionary," Deseret News, March 14, 1991, B2.

"Some Missionaries in Bolivia, Peru are 'Redeployed,'" Church News, July 15, 1989, 3.

"Team Honors Slain Elder: Utah Central Area," Church News, November 25, 1989, 7.

"Terrorist Takes the Blame for '89 Killings," Deseret News, July 21, 1992, A1.

"Two Missionaries Serving in Bolivia Are Assassinated by Terrorists," Church News, May 27, 1989, 4.

"Two Suspects Arrested in Missionary Killings," Church News, July 8, 1989, 4.

"U.S. Offering $500,000 for Missionaries' Killers,"Deseret News, June 17, 1989, B1.

"`Wisely, Cautiously,' Missionary Work Proceeds in Bolivia,"Church News, June 24, 1989, 5.



Web Pages

Derechos-Human Rights, Equipo Nizkor, "Relación de los Hechos," <http://www.derechos.org/nizkor/bolivia/cdh/2.html> (April 3, 2000).

Huber, Eric, "Bolivia LDS Mission Page," March 26, 2001, <http://www.inconnect.com/bolivia> (April 4, 2001).



Unpublished Sources

E-mail Correspondence

Blackburn, Chris, "Re: Looking for Information," E-mail to the author, March 14, 2001.

Claycomb, Tracy, "Re: Looking for Information," E-mail to the author, March 13, 2001.

Colton, Paul, "Re: Looking for Information," E-mail to the author, March 13, 2001.

__________, "Re: Looking for Information," E-mail to the author, March 14, 2001.

Egbert, Lon, "Re: Looking for Information," E-mail to the author, March 18, 2001.

Florman, Lynn (Skie), "Re: Bolivian Missionaries," E-mail to the author, March 13, 2001.

Florman, Lynn (Skie), "Re: Bolivian Missionaries," E-mail to the author, March 19, 2001.

Futch, Sheri (Dimter), "Re: Looking for Information," E-mail to the author, April 3, 2001.

Gonzalez, Edward, "Re: Looking for Information," E-mail to the author, March 14, 2001.

Hudson, Tim, "Re: Looking for Information," E-mail to the author, March 13, 2001.

Manwaring, Kenna (Anderson), "Re: Looking for Information," E-mail to the author, March 30, 2001.

Manwaring, Kenna (Anderson), "Re: Looking for Information," E-mail to the author, March 30, 2001.

Mylroie, V. Shane, "Re: Looking for Information," E-mail to the author, March 14, 2001.

Mylroie, V. Shane, "Re: Looking for Information," E-mail to the author, March 15, 2001.

Reeder, Ryan, "Buscando Información," E-mail to 8 addresses, March 13, 2001.

Reeder, Ryan, "Looking for Information," E-mail to 57 addresses, March 13, 2001.

Reeder, Ryan, "Re: Looking for Information," E-mail to Chris Blackburn, March 14, 2001.

Reeder, Ryan, "Re: Looking for Information," E-mail to Tracy Claycomb, March 14, 2001.

Reeder, Ryan, "Re: Looking for Information," E-mail to Paul Colton, March 14, 2001.

Reeder, Ryan, "Re: Looking for Information," E-mail to Lon Egbert, March 20, 2001.

Reeder, Ryan, "Re: Bolivian Missionaries," E-mail to Lynn (Skie) Florman, March 14, 2001.

Reeder, Ryan, "Re: Bolivian Missionaries," E-mail to Lynn (Skie) Florman, March 20, 2001.

Reeder, Ryan, "Re: Bolivian Missionaries," E-mail to Sheri (Dimter) Futch, March 20, 2001.

Reeder, Ryan, "Re: Looking for Information," E-mail to Edward Gonzalez, March 14, 2001.

Reeder, Ryan, "Re: Looking for Information," E-mail to Tim Hudson, March 14, 2001.

Reeder, Ryan, "Re: Looking for Information," E-mail to Kenna (Anderson) Manwaring, March 30, 2001.

Reeder, Ryan, "Re: Looking for Information," E-mail to V. Shane Mylroie, March 14, 2001.

Reeder, Ryan, "Re: Looking for Information," E-mail to Ryan Young, March 14, 2001.

Reeder, Ryan, "Re: ," E-mail to Ryan Young, March 20, 2001.

Young, Ryan, "Re: Looking for Information," E-mail to the author, March 13, 2001.

Young, Ryan, [no subject], E-mail to the author, March 19, 2001.

Young, Ryan, [no subject], E-mail to the author, March 21, 2001.



Oral Interview

Mondaca, Omar, February 11, 1996, conversation with the author, Cochabamba, Bolivia, included in Ryan Reeder, Missionary Journal, February 13, 1996, 69.



Secondary Sources

Allen, James B. and Glen B. Leonard, The Story of the Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1992, 397.

Deseret News Church Almanac, 1989-1990, Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret News, 1988.

Deseret News Church Almanac 2001-2002, Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret News, 2000.

Doctrine and Covenants of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, The, Salt Lake City, Utah: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1981.

Driggs, Ken, Evil Among Us: The Texas Mormon Missionary Murders, Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 2000.

Roberts, B. H., A Comprehensive History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints vol. 5, Salt Lake City: Deseret News Press, 1930.

Roberts, B. H., A Comprehensive History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints vol. 6, Salt Lake City: Deseret News Press, 1930.

Truman Madsen, Defender of the Faith: The B. H. Roberts Story, Salt Lake City, Utah : Bookcraft, 1980.

Smith, Joseph Jr., History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1980.

Smith, Joseph Fielding, Essentials in Church History, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1967.



Appendix

E-mail used to solicit information from former Bolivia La Paz missionaries



Date: Tue, 13 Mar 2001 15:27:26 -0800 (PST)

From: Ryan Reeder <ryan_reeder@yahoo.com>

Subject: Looking for information

Hello. My name is Ryan Reeder. I found your name at the Missionary Alumni Database section of the "Bolivia LDS Mission Page"( http://www.inconnect.com/bolivia). I served in the Bolivia Cochabamba Mission between 1995 and 1997. Currently I am a senior graduating in history at Brigham Young University.

For one of my classes, I am working on a project about the assassinations of Elders Jeffrey Brent Ball and Todd Ray Wilson on May 24, 1989. Based on the dates you served that I found at the mission web site, I understand that you were serving in the Bolivia La Paz mission under President Steven Wright when Elders Wilson and Ball were killed. I realize that even after nearly twelve years have gone by, this may still be a sensitive topic. I respect that.

I am looking for any information you might have or be aware of concerning what took place. Do you know any details of what happened that night? Do you know people that do? I understand that there were two other missionaries living in the apartment when Elders Ball and Wilson returned that night. Do you know who they were? How did news of the assassinations affect you? How did you hear about it? How well did you know Elders Wilson and Ball? Did you work with them? Were you a former companion? Is there anything you could share with me about them?

How were American missionaries withdrawn from the country? I understand that it was originally reduced to a 30/70 ratio; then American missionaries were totally removed from Bolivia and Peru for several years. I arrived six months after the first American missionaries returned to Bolivia, and throughout my mission, American missionaries were again at a 30/70 ratio. Were you involved when missionaries were removed from the area? What happened? How did it affect you?

Did you hear anything about the trial of the Zarate Willka Revolutionary group members? Do you have any newspaper articles from Bolivia concerning the assassination or the trial? Do you know people that do? What was the reaction in the press? Was it heavily reported, or generally ignored? What was the public reaction? How did it affect the members in Bolivia? Investigators? Other people you met? Do you know about the United States involvement with the FBI investigation? Are you aware of other terrorist activity that took place at this time, such as the Hamacas chapel bombing in Santa Cruz? Was anti-American sentiment general, or limited to just a few fringe group organizations? Is there any other information you might have?

I very much appreciate your help. Without it, I am limited to Utah newspapers for information. Anything you could tell me would be very much appreciated. Please indicate if you would like me to use your name to document your information, or if you would prefer to remain anonymous. Again, thank you very much for your help.

Sincerely,

Ryan Reeder

<ryan_reeder@yahoo.com>

1. Spencer W. Kimball, "The Uttermost Parts of the Earth," Ensign, July 1979, 2; Joseph Smith, Jr, History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints vol. 4, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1980, 540.

2. James B. Allen and Glen B. Leonard, The Story of the Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1992, 397.

3. Ibid., 397; Truman Madsen, Defender of the Faith: The B. H. Roberts Story, Salt Lake City, Utah : Bookcraft, 1980, 143-154.

4. Ken Driggs, Evil Among Us: The Texas Mormon Missionary Murders, Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 2000.

5. "2 Missionaries are Found Dead," Church News, December 22, 1979, 12.

6. Chris Jorgensen, "Persecution of Mormon Missionaries Becomes Violent," Salt Lake Tribune, April 7, 1991, A3.

7. JoAnn Jacobsen-Wells and Jerry Spangler, "2 LDS Missionaries Assassinated in Bolivia," Deseret News, May 25, 1989, A1.; "2 Missionaries Killed in Peru," Deseret News, August 23, 1990, B1.; "Shooting Claims Peruvian LDS Missionary," Deseret News, March 14, 1991, B2.

8. "Missionary Slain in Knife Attack in Ireland," Church News, June 2, 1990, 3.

9. "LDS Missionary Slain in Russia," Deseret News, October 18, 1998, A1

10. Marianne Funk, "Elder Wilson is Praised for Giving Ultimate Sacrifice in City of Peace," Deseret News, May 31, 1989, A1; Gerry Avant, "Elder Wilson 'Worthy of God's Best' Church News, June 3, 1989, 3. In this statement delivered at the Funeral of Elder Todd Ray Wilson, President Gordon B. Hinckley applied his remarks specifically to Elders Wilson and Ball. Its sentiments, however, can be assumed to apply to all faithful assassinated missionaries.

11. JoAnn Jacobsen-Wells and Jerry Spangler, "2 LDS Missionaries Assassinated in Bolivia," Deseret News, May 25, 1989, A1.

12. "Team Honors Slain Elder: Utah Central Area," Church News, November 25, 1989, 7.

13. JoAnn Jacobsen-Wells and Arva Smith,"Anguished Families and Friends of Slain Missionaries ask 'Why?'Deseret News, May 26, 1989, A1.

14. JoAnn Jacobsen-Wells, "2 Slain LDS Missionaries Have 'Gone Home to God'," Deseret News, May 31, 1989, A1.

15. Ibid.

16. JoAnn Jacobsen-Wells and Jerry Spangler, "2 LDS Missionaries Assassinated."

17. Ibid.

18. JoAnn Jacobsen-Wells and Arva Smith, "Anguished Families and Friends"; JoAnn Jacobsen-Wells, "2 Slain LDS Missionaries."

19. David Knowlton, "Missionaries and Terror: The Assassination of Two Elders in Bolivia," Sunstone, August 1989, 10.

20. David Knowlton, "Missionaries and Terror: The Assassination of Two Elders in Bolivia," Sunstone, August 1989, 12.

21. Ibid.

22. David Knowlton, "Missionaries and Terror," 12; "Relación de los Hechos"; JoAnn Jacobsen Wells, "2 LDS Missionaries"; Lee Davidson, "Were Slayings Really by Leftist Terrorists?," Deseret News, May 26, 1989, A1; "2 Suspected of Killing Missionaries Sought," Deseret News, July 1, 1989, A1; "Bolivia Arrests 2 Sought in Deaths of 2 Missionaries," Deseret News, July 2, 1989, A1; "Two Suspects Arrested in Missionary Killings," Church News, July 8, 1989, 4; "FBI, Bolivia Still Searching for Killers of Missionaries," Deseret News, October 3, 1989, A2; "Bolivia Trial Nears Conclusion in Slaying of 2 Missionaries," Deseret News, February 9, 1990, A3;"FBI Agent Honored for His Role in Bolivian Probe," Deseret News, April 6, 1990, D8; Lee Davidson, "Death Threats Slow Murder Trial in Bolivia," Deseret News, June 2, 1991, A1; "Long Prison Terms Given to Killers of 2 Missionaries," Deseret News, October 11, 1991, B1; "Terrorist Takes the Blame for '89 Killings," Deseret News, July 21, 1992, A1; Michael Phillips, "Bolivia Arrests Rebel."

23. Ibid.

24. Lynn (Skie) Florman, "Bolivian Missionaries," E-mail to the author, March 14, 2001. Comments from former missionaries are a result of a solicitation to 62 E-mail addresses. A copy of the E-mail sent out is included at the end of this paper as an appendix.

25. Ibid.

26. Derechos-Human Rights, Equipo Nizkor, "Relación de los Hechos," (April 3, 2000).

27. Paul Colton, "Re: Looking for Information," E-mail to the author, March 13, 2001.

28. Sheri (Dimter) Futch, "Re: Looking for Information," E-mail to the author, April 3, 2001.

29. Omar Mondaca, resident of Cochabamba, Bolivia and former missionary in La Paz, Bolivia at the time of the assassinations, 11 February 1996, conversation with the author, Cochabamba, Bolivia, included in Ryan Reeder, Missionary Journal, February 13, 1996, 69.

30. Ryan Young, "Reply: ," E-mail to the author, March 19, 2001.

31. Ryan Young and Omar Mondaca have conflicting reports. Ryan Young writes that Elder Wilson died instantly, while Omar Mondaca informed me that Elder Wilson died in the ambulance. The day I spoke with him, we talked with a man whose wife, Mondaca later said, was a nurse in the ambulance when Elder Wilson passed away.

32. Paul Colton, E-mail to the author; Tracy Claycomb, "Re: Looking for information," E-mail to the author, March 13, 2001; Chris Blackburn, "Re: Looking for information," E-mail to the author, March 14, 2001; Victor Shane Mylroie, "Re: Looking for information," E-mail to the author, March 14, 2001; Lon Egbert, "Re: Looking for information," E-mail to the author, March 18, 2001, Kenna (Anderson) Manwaring, "Re: Looking for information," E-mail to the author, March 30, 2001.

33. Paul Colton, E-mail to the author, Tracy Claycomb, E-mail to the author.

34. Lee Davidson, "Bolivian Government Shocked by Slayings," Deseret News May 31, 1989, A2; JoAnn Jacobsen-Wells, "2 LDS Missionaries"; Michael Phillips, "Bolivia Arrests Rebel in '89 Murder of 2 LDS Missionaries," Salt Lake Tribune, July 21, 1992, A1. Translation theirs.

35. Lee Davidson, "Leftist Terrorists?"

36. David Knowlton, "Missionaries and Terror," 12.

37. "FBI, Bolivia Still Searching for Killers of Missionaries," Deseret News, October 3, 1989, A2.

38. Lee Davidson, "Leftist Terrorists?"

39. Lynn (Skie) Florman, "Bolivian Missionaries," E-mail to the author, March 14, 2001.

40. David Knowlton, "Missionaries and Terror," 12; Lee Davidson, "Leftist Terrorists?"; Lee Davidson, "FBI Sent to Bolivia to Probe Slayings," Deseret News, May 30, 1989, A1; Lee Davidson, "Bolivian Government"; "U.S. Offering $500,000 for Missionaries' Killers, Deseret News, June 17, 1989, B1; "Bolivia Arrests 2"; "FBI Agent Honored"; "FBI, Bolivia Still Searching," Jerry Spangler, "Missionaries Resolve"; Michael Phillips, "Bolivia Arrests Rebel"; Sheri (Dimter) Futch, E-mail to the author; Lynn (Skie) Florman, E-mail to the author.

41. David Knowlton, "Missionaries and Terror," 12; "2 Suspected of Killing"

42. "Bolivia Arrests 2." In 1967 Cuba sponsored an attempted revolution in Bolivia led by folk hero Ernesto "Che" Guevara. Guevara was later hunted down and killed.

43. "FBI, Bolivia Still Searching;" "Bolivia Arrests 2"; Lee Davidson, "Death Threats Slow Murder Trial in Bolivia," Deseret News, June 2, 1991, A1. It's interesting to note that Elder Wilson used these same elections to write letters to each of his eight siblings. These letters were the last they ever received from him.

44. David Knowlton, "Missionaries and Terror," 13.

45. Ibid.

46. Ibid.

47. Ryan Young, E-mail to the author, Lee Davidson, "Terrorists Relatively Easy on LDS Targets," Deseret News, July 22, 1989, B1; "Bolivia Arrests 2."

48. "U.S. Offering $500,000."

49. Tracy Claycomb, E-mail to the author.

50. David Knowlton, "Missionaries and Terror," 15.

51. Sheri (Dimter) Futch, E-mail to the author.

52. Lynn (Skie) Florman, E-mail to the author.

53. Tim Hudson, "Re: Looking for Information," E-mail to the author, March 13, 2001.

54. Jerry Spangler, "Missionaries Resolve to Stay in Bolivia," May 27, 2001, A1.

55. Ryan Young, E-mail to the author (some spelling corrected).

56. Marianne Funk, "Elder Wilson is Praised."

57. "First Presidency Grieves Over Deaths of 'Martyrs'," Church News, May 27, 1989, 4.

58. JoAnn Jacobsen-Wells and Arva Smith, "Anguished Families."

59. Ibid.

60. Ibid.

61. "Team Honors Slain Elder."

62. JoAnn Jacobsen-Wells, " Missionaries Have 'Gone Home to God'," Deseret News, May 31, 1989, A1.

63. Cathy Kelly, "Bodies of Slain Missionaries are Flown Home from Bolivia," Deseret News May 29, 1989, A1; "Sadness Marks Missionaries 'Homecoming',"Church News, June 3, 1989, 4.

64. John Hart, "Church Leaders Eulogize Slain Elders," Church News, 3.

65. Gerry Avant, "Elder Wilson 'Worthy of God's Best'," Church News, 3.

66. Ibid.

67. JoAnn Jacobsen-Wells, "'Gone Home to God'."

68. Ibid., John Hart, "Church Leaders Eulogize," Lee Davidson, "Terrorists Relatively Easy on LDS Targets," Deseret News, July 22, 1989, B1.

69. Gerry Avant, "'Worthy of God's Best',"

70. Ibid.

71. Marianne Funk, "Elder Wilson is Praised."

72. John Hart, "Church Leaders Eulogize,"

73. Gerry Avant, "'Worthy of God's Best'."

74. "Memorial Service is Held in La Paz for 2 Slain Elders," Deseret News, May 29, 1989, A2; "Bolivians Express Love for Missionaries," Church News, June 3, 1989.

75. M. Russell Ballard, "Duties, Rewards, and Risks," Ensign, Nov. 1989, 33 or Conference Report October 1989, 41.

76. "Missionaries Still in Rooms," Deseret News, May 30, 1989, B1; Cathy Kelly, "Bodies"; Ryan Young; Kenna (Anderson) Manwaring.

77. Kenna (Anderson) Manwaring, E-mail to the author.

78. "'Wisely, Cautiously' Missionary Work Proceeds in Bolivia," Church News, June 24, 1989, 5.

79. "Memorial Service."

80. "Missionaries Still in Rooms."

81. Cathy Kelly, "Bodies."

82. Ryan Young, E-mail to the author.

83. Cathy Kelly, "Bodies."

84. Ryan Young, E-mail to the author.

85. Kenna (Anderson) Manwaring, E-mail to the author.

86. Marianne Funk, "LDS Church Counsels Missionaries in Bolivia on Safety Precautions," Deseret News, June 21, 1989, B1; "'Wisely, Cautiously'."

87. Tracy Claycomb, E-mail to the author. Incidentally, Omar Mondaca reported being one of the first missionaries to return to the Villa Victoria ward when it was reopened.

88. David Knowlton, "Missionaries and Terror," 15; This incident occurred while David Knowlton was serving in the La Paz mission. Information on his dates of service obtained from Eric Huber, "Bolivia LDS Mission Page," April 4, 2001, .

89. Kenna (Anderson) Manwaring, E-mail to the author.

90. Paul Colton, E-mail to the author; Brian T. West, "LDS Church Reassigning Missionaries, Deseret News, July 12, 1989, A1. President Birnbaumer would later serve as President of the La Paz Bolivia Mission from 1993-1996 as American missionaries returned to Bolivia.

91. Edward Gonzalez, "Re: Looking for Information," E-mail to the author, March 13, 2001.

92. Brian T. West, "LDS Church Reassigning."

93. Kenna (Anderson) Manwaring, E-mail to the author.

94. Lee Davidson, "Leftist Terrorists?"

95. Lee Davidson, "Bolivian Government."

96. Lee Davidson, "FBI Sent to Bolivia to Probe Slayings," Deseret News, May 30, 1989, A1.

97. Lee Davidson, "FBI Sent to Bolivia"; "FBI Agent Honored." Agent McPheters, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ who had himself been a missionary in Paraguay and Uruguay from 1965-1967, volunteered to go. His son, Shad, was at that time serving in Bolivia's other mission in Cochabamba. McPheters was later awarded with the Bolivian National Medal of Honor and a formal commendation from FBI director William Sessions.

98. "U.S. Offering $500,000"; "'Wisely, Cautiously,'"; "Bolivia Arrests 2"; "Two Suspects Arrested"; Michael Phillips, "Bolivia Arrests Rebel"; Lee Davidson, "Bolivian Government Shocked."

99. "Boliva Arrests 2."

100. In Latin custom, the mother's maiden name follows the father's surname.

101. "Relación de Los Hechos," my translation.

102. "2 Suspected"; "Bolivia Arrests 2."

103. "2 Suspected."

104. "Relación de los Hechos."

105. "Relación de los Hechos"; "Bolivia Arrests 2"; "Two Suspects Arrested," "2 Suspected"; "FBI, Bolivia Still Searching."

106. "Bolivia to Get New Judge in Missionary Killings," Deseret News, October 6, 1989, A4.

107. "No Bail for Five Suspected of Killing Elders," Deseret News, April 4, 1990, B2.

108. "Bolivia Trial Nears Conclusion in Slaying of 2 Missionaries," Deseret News, February 3, 1990, A3.

109. Lee Davidson, "Death Threats."

110. "Long Prison Terms Given to Killers of 2 Missionaries," Deseret News, October 11, 1991, B1.

111. Relación de los Hechos.

112. "Relación de los Hechos," my translation

113. "Terrorist Takes the Blame for '89 Killings," Deseret News, July 21, 1992; Michael Phillips, "Bolivia Arrests Rebel."

114. "2 Missionaries Killed in Peru," Deseret News, August 23, 1990, B1; Sheila Sanchez, "2 Missionaries Shot by Rebels, Police Say," Deseret News, August 24, 1990, B1; "Gunmen Shoot, Kill Two Peruvian Missionaries," Church News, August 25, 1990, 4; "Peru Missionaries 'Eager to Continue'" Church News, September 15, 1990, 3.

115. "Shooting Claims Peruvian LDS Missionary," Deseret News, March 14, 1991, B2.

116. Eric Huber, "Bolivia LDS Mission Page."

117. "Relación de Los Hechos." More details on the torturing of the accused can be found here.

118. Eric Huber, "Bolivia LDS Mission Page."

119. Deseret News Church Almanac, 1989-1990. Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret News, 1988, 113; Deseret News Church Almanac 2001-2002, Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret News, 2000, 282.

120. History of the Church, 4:540.

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