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Mexico

El Salvador Scraps Amnesty Law, Opens Door for Prosecutions

Perpetrators of high profile crimes, such as the assassination of Archbishop Óscar Romero, could now be brought to trial

The historic centre of San Salvador, close to where the decision was made, photo: Wikipedia
1 year ago

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador — Perpetrators of human rights violations during El Salvador’s civil war can be prosecuted now that the country’s Supreme Court has struck down an amnesty law. Those include crimes such as the 1980 assassination of Archbishop Óscar Romero.

Wednesday’s decision declared the amnesty unconstitutional and said it denied Salvadorans the right to justice and compensation for war crimes.

Members of the military, guerrilla fighters and paramilitary death squads had been protected from prosecution for crimes committed during government’s the 12-year conflict with rebels. Peace accords were signed in 1992.

The country’s legislative assembly in 1993 passed the law banning prosecution of crimes committed by the military and leftist rebels during the conflict that claimed 75,000 lives.

Some Salvadorans welcome the ruling while others fear it could open old wounds.

MARCOS ALEMAN

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