More than 1,500 people died in political violence during 1990 as leftist rebels and government troops took El Salvador's civil war into its 11th year, a high church official said Sunday.

Gregorio Rosa Chavez, assistant archbishop of San Salvador, said at least 1,524 civilians, rebels and soldiers were killed this year."That's a figure we can consider conservative," Rosa Chavez said in a sermon in which he called the country's system of justice "disappointing."

Although Rosa Chavez said fewer people were killed this year than in 1989, he said, "More than 100 people died each month in 1990, which makes you think how absurd the war is and how the guns have to be silenced so that reason can speak."