Thursday, November 05, 2009

A first in El Salvador -- government atonement

November 16, 2009 will mark the 20th anniversary of the assassinations of the six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter, by Salvadoran armed forces during the civil war. And with the change to a left-wing government comes the first acknowledgment of the country's crime. From the AP:

SAN SALVADOR — El Salvador's president says the country will award its highest honor to six Jesuit priests murdered by the army in 1989.

President Mauricio Funes says the National Order of Jose Matias Delgado awards are a "public act of atonement" for mistakes by past governments.

They will be presented on Nov. 16 to mark the date 20 years ago when soldiers killed Spanish-born university rector Ignacio Ellacuria, five other Jesuits, a housekeeper and her daughter.

The killings sparked international outrage and tarnished the image of U.S. anti-communism efforts after it was found that some of the soldiers involved received training at Fort Benning, Georgia.

Funes made the announcement on Tuesday.

In September, the US House of Representatives also passed a resolution marking the 20th anniversary of one of the most infamous human rights cases of the Salvadoran conflict during the 1980s.

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