The Center for International Policy says Robert E. White, a former U.S. ambassador to El Salvador and strong critic of U.S. policy in the region during the Central American wars, has died at age 88.

The Center says White died Tuesday of cancer. He spent 25 years in the Foreign Service and was ambassador to El Salvador from 1980-81. White said he was forced out of the service in 1981 when he refused a demand by Secretary of State Alexander M. Haig Jr. to cover up the Salvadoran military's responsibility for the murders of four American churchwomen."

White was Latin America director of the Peace Corps, deputy permanent representative to the Organization of American States and ambassador to Paraguay. He was a senior fellow at the center when he died.