El Salvador Considers Amnesty for Those Accused of Crimes During Its Civil War


Legislators in El Salvador are considering granting amnesty to those accused of crimes committed during the country’s brutal civil war in the 1980s. The legislation would drop all ordinary criminal charges arising from the war, and it would shield anyone convicted of war crimes from imprisonment.

The move by conservatives in El Salvador’s Parliament comes as 20 former senior military officers have been charged with an array of crimes, including murder, rape, and kidnapping. In December, a judge cleared the way for the men to also be tried on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The families of four American Roman Catholic missionaries, who were raped and murdered by soldiers during the civil, sent an open letter to Salvadoran legislators urging them to vote against any proposed amnesty. The Roman Catholic archbishop of San Salvador also issued a statement calling on legislators to reject what has come to be called the Law of Reconciliation. He called it “totally unjust” and said that “instead of protecting and consoling the victims,” it would “protect the perpetrators, granting them impunity.”

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Pro Publica