Saturday, February 08, 2014

El Salvador's Supreme Court orders war crime investigation

El Salvador's Supreme Judicial Court has ordered the country's top prosecutor to investigate one of the many massacres by army forces during El Salvador's civil war.

From Reuters:
The court ruled General Prosecutor Luis Martinez had to reopen a previous investigation that had fizzled out without any charges being filed. The court demanded prosecutors charge any guilty parties and release publicly the results of its probe. 
The ruling is an unprecedented move by the court to order the probe into a particular case relating to the country's 1980-1992 civil war. 
The Supreme Court said that the prosecutor's office dragged its feet in the original investigation and the justices ruled that the prosecutor had violated the rights of a group of citizens who had been filing legal complaints about the massacre since 2006. 
Military troops allegedly killed about 45 people, including women and children, in the community of San Francisco Angulo. 
"The court orders the General Prosecutor to carry out a serious, far-reaching, diligent and conclusive investigation, within a reasonable time," the court said in a statement.
At the same time, the Constitutional Chamber of the Court has before it a proceeding challenging the general amnesty law passed in 1993 which has prevented the prosecution of this and other war crimes.  In the upcoming presidential election, ARENA opposes any repeal of the amnesty law.   Salvador Sanchez Ceren of the FMLN has waffled on the issue, once saying that he supported a repeal and later stating that repeal was up to the courts.


Greg said...

This is an excellent step forward to see full investigations conducted into alleged war crimes conducted not only by the Salvadoran military during the war, but by individuals and individual guerrilla army Commands under the banner of the FMLN.

There is a reason the FMLN originally concurred with the General Amnesty during the UN brokered Peace Accord. From top to bottom the FMLN knew it had likewise carried out actions that meet the international definition of war crimes. For example, the murder of Salvadoran troops at Punte Oro after they'd laid down their arms and surrendered to FMLN units...the bayoneting and shooting of Salvadoran soldiers (wounded) in their hospital beds during one attack on the base at El Pariso.

And the murder of U.S. Marines, unarmed, in the Zona Rosa...and the deliberate placing and detonation of an explosive charge beneath the still living body of SSG Greg Fronius, an American advisor wounded in yet another attack on El Pariso - this carried out by sappers from the FMLN JP28 sapper unit.

Of course the FMLN political leadership today waffles on its original endorsement of war crimes investigations ... too many of its now wealthy and influential "revolutionaries" could face the court and then imprisonment.

Like the Nazi war criminals before them let Justice hunt these animals down, drag them into the dockets, expose and remind us all of their arrogance and crimes and then banish them to a cold, dank cell for the rest of their lives.

Only until El Salvador exposes the horror of its own war crimes fully and then adjudicates each case without favor or pardon will the country truly begin to regain its honor.

Greg said...

If it's good enough for Guatamalan justice - it's good enough for Salvadoran justice.

Hunt them down, one by one, regardless of political platform, position, organization or army and prosecute them.