During the recent past, when oppressive military regimes ruled in many countries of Latin America, organizations of mothers of "the disappeared", las madres de los desaparecidos, were some of most courageous voices asking what happened to their sons and husbands. They sought to hold governments accountable for kidnappings, tortures and murders.
The Los Angeles Times carries a story showing that in some countries in Latin America, impunity is slowly being overcome, and the mothers are getting a little justice. But the paper points out that this is not the case in El Salvador:
No one is investigating the deaths of [Alicia de Garcia's] two brothers and two sons, who were kidnapped by soldiers. No one is searching for their missing bodies. Their executioners remain free. Sometimes, Garcia and other Salvadoran mothers of the disappeared say they spot the killers on the street.
"We've always worked and searched for justice," Garcia said. "Here, impunity has always won. Unfortunately, we have to walk in the same place the animals walk."
In El Salvador, the mothers of the disappeared know of no government official who dares to [promise to learn the truth about the disappeared].
The other day, Guadalupe Mejia Delgado was walking near her home in San Salvador when she came upon a member of the civilian security patrol that she says killed nine of her husband's relatives with machetes and handguns.
"He stared at me the longest time," she said. "He looked angry and confused."