For Mother's Day (a day late), I want to highlight the work of the organization COMADRES, the Committee of Mothers Mons. Romero. COMADRES grew up as an organization of the mothers of victims of political violence and disappearances in the turbulent 70s and 80s. The organization demanded justice for their family members throughout the civil war and beyond:
Comadres was set up in 1977, when 'disappearances' were the order of the day in El Salvador. The group came into existence because relatives of 'disappeared' persons felt the need to share their grief with partners in misfortune and to unite forces with them. At the moment Comadres is working on 4,000 cases of 'disappearances', an emotionally arduous job for the relatives. On the one hand the women know that their 'disappeared' husbands and children probably have been killed, on the other hand, as long as the body hasn't been found there is always a spark of hope that makes them believe that one day the missing person may return home. This glimmer of hope gives strength to the organization: the fight goes on.
Meanwhile the women of Comadres have extended their activities. They are involved in human rights education. On the social and economic level they undertake joint activities too. Because of the 'disappearance' of their husbands or sons, the economic situation of the women, already belonging to the economic lower class, has become worse. Most of them demand financial compensation from the government. But financial compensation isn't the most important issue; much more important is the social, mental and political support. Finally, the women of Comadres are trying to get psychological help for children who have been traumatized by the events that took place during the civil war in El Salvador.
Learn much more at the COMADRES website. In a 1996 decision, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights detailed a series of attacks against COMADRES and its members during the civil war which had been left uninvestigated and unpunished by El Salvador's government.