Monday, January 16, is the 15th anniversary of the signing of the 1992 Peace Accords which ended El Salvador's 12 year civil war. The government plans celebrations to mark the event and the progress which has been made since the end of the war. Yet numerous civil society organizations are rejecting the celebrations and declaring that the Peace Accords are an unfulfilled promise for the country.
From the Terra news site is an article about a communique from various humanitarian organizations including La Asociación Pro Búsqueda de Niñas y Niños Desaparecidos (Pro Búsqueda) and the Human Rights Commission of El Salvador (CDHES). These organizations protest that human rights violations from the civil war have been allowed to go unpunished:
"Successive governments installed since 1992 have sustained an unacceptable state of impunity that protects those responsible for committing crimes against humanity against the civilian population." The associations declared that "the 1993 Amnesty Law constitutes the most aberrant expression of the perpetuation of this conduct of impunity, whose repeal has been demanded by the Interamerican Commission for Human Rights."A different theme was sounded by the Auxiliary Bishop of San Salvador, Gregorio Rosa Chávez in his press conference on Sunday, January 7, as reported in a La Prensa Grafica article:
To end impunity, they demand the repeal of the 1993 Amnesty Law, so that crimes that occurred during the civil war are investigated, along with a purge and reform of the judicial system. In addition the establishment of a high level commission to investigate the whereabouts of the civilian population forcibly disappeared or assassinated during the conflict and a policy of the government of reparations for the civilian population that suffered damages by the violation of their Human Rights.
"The people [of El Salvador] are disenchanted and do not feel that peace arrived because each day brings more of the anguish of poverty, unemployment, the high cost of living, and a lack of security," he expressed in the Sunday press conference. For the representative of the church, the true spirit of those accords does not guide what leaders do, as is reflected in the credibility crisis of the politicial system.Meanwhile, Diario Co Latino reports on the comments from the Center of Investigations over Investment and Commerce (CEICOM) who also reject the anniversary celebrations as a mere "political show."
The only viable form of obtaining peace in the country, according to Rosa Chávez is reconstructing the social fabric which has been torn by poverty, marginalization, social exclusion and lack of opportunities. "This social fabric cannot be remade with a campaign of Bible reading in the schools nor with with a pretty event in a stadium; ... one must go to where there is pain,' he indicated.
Objective diagnois of the national reality, obtained through an analysis of causes, was the solution that the priest proposed, in order to obtain a political, social, economic and religious reconciliation.
Monsignor Chavez urged the existing government and the political left to make public apologies for the victims and the abuses committed in the past civil war, but emhasized that what was most important is to repair the damage caused.
"Peace is not simply that there are no combatants, but a dignified life for all, " reflected the bishop.
Fifteen years after signing, the country has to live on remittances sent from the United States, insecurity is endemic, and there is a great environmental crisis...These facts call into question the pronouncements of the government [being made as part of the commemoration of the Peace Accords].The Diario Co Latino report also notes that disabled veterans and organizations of widows and orphans from the war plan marches on Monday as well to protest what they view as unfulfilled promises including the need for adequate pensions.
(Any and all errors in translation are mine).