Are El Salvador and Guatemala Seeking Justice for War Crimes, or Trying to Cover Them Up?


In El Salvador, a country where wartime military leaders still wield power, attempts to impede justice have continued. The latest roadblock came in February, when an ad hoc commission of legislators, which was created to study a 2016 Supreme Court ruling that declared the country’s amnesty law unconstitutional, proposed to revive amnesty for civil war-era crimes. Despite fierce outcry from groups representing the victims of atrocities during the civil war, the proposal is currently making its way through the legislature.

Debates over accountability and impunity in El Salvador feed into broader tensions related to transitional justice across Latin America. In Guatemala, officials are debating the role of amnesty for crimes committed during its 36-year civil war. Meanwhile, South American nations such as Chile, Peru, and Brazil have recently witnessed attempts to shut down museums and efforts to ban certain history books as leaders battle over who gets to tell which version of history.

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World Politics Review