In response to the discussion of proposed legislation in the Political Commission of El Salvador’s Legislative Assembly, which could have implications for access to justice for victims of the armed conflict, Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International, said:
“El Salvador’s legislators cannot turn their backs on the victims of crimes under international law and grave human rights violations committed during the armed conflict. The Salvadoran authorities are obliged to bring to justice anyone suspected of being responsible for the extrajudicial executions, torture and enforced disappearances that took place during the armed conflict. To do otherwise would risk becoming complicit in heinous crimes.”
“If the legislators approve a new law that grants amnesty and guarantees impunity for human rights violations, far from ensuring the victims’ rights to truth, justice and reparation, they would be mocking their pain and trampling on their rights. It is unacceptable that in El Salvador, almost 30 years after the signing of the Peace Accords, attempts are still being made to allow those responsible for the crimes committed in the armed conflict to escape justice and enjoy impunity.”
According to the United Nations Truth Commission, more than 75,000 people were tortured, extrajudicially executed or forcibly disappeared during the internal armed conflict in El Salvador between 1980 and 1992.
The Salvadoran army was responsible for many massacres in communities accused of supporting guerrilla groups. Armed opposition groups also committed crimes under international law and human rights abuses.
Five days after the United Nations Truth Commission published its recommendations in 1993, the Salvadoran authorities passed an Amnesty Law that contravenes the country’s obligations under international law and is an affront to the thousands of victims of human rights abuses and their families.
In 2016, the Supreme Court of El Salvador declared the Amnesty Law unconstitutional in a long-awaited and historic ruling.
For more information, contact Elizabeth Berton-Hunter, Media Relations 416-363-9933 ext 332 firstname.lastname@example.org
El Salvador rejects Amnesty Law in historic ruling (News, 14 July 2016)