Church in El Salvador Recalls Urgency of a law for National Reconciliation

Call for Justice for Victims of 1980-1992 Conflict

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The Catholic Church of El Salvador notes and confirms the need for a specific national reconciliation law that guarantees justice to the victims of the armed conflict that bloodied the nation in the years 1980-1992, according to Fides News Agency.

«We are very worried: this is the sentiment of the people. We do not see the will of the Legislative Assembly to comply with the ruling of the Constitutional Court after repealing the law on amnesty,» said the Archbishop of San Salvador, Mgr. José Luis Escobar. In his traditional Sunday conference, Archbishop Escobar questioned «the real intentions of the deputies, who requested – and obtained – three extensions to approve the legislation». The last one will expire next Friday. «The rulings of the Constitutional Court are definitive and must be respected. This has not been done. Indeed, we see that they are not working on the issue, given the constant postponements,» said the Archbishop.

Three days ago, the director of the Human Rights Institute of the Central American University (IDHUCA), Fr. José María Tojeira, assured that the process of drafting the reconciliation law «was slow, complex and obscure». «The trial was irregular, but I hope a good law will be passed because the victims’ children and grandchildren continue to seek justice,» he added.

Between 1980 and 1992, the guerrilla Frente Farabundo Martí for national liberation (FMLN) faced the US-funded army of El Salvador in an armed conflict that resulted in 75,000 deaths and 8,000 went missing in 12 years.
The appeal to proceed with the approval of a law for national reconciliation, deemed extremely necessary to do justice to the victims and pacify the memory of the country, was launched while the Catholic Church in El Salvador celebrates a recent announcement that has generated great joy: the Holy See recognized the martyrdom of the Salvadoran parish priest Rutilio Grande, killed in 1977. «Rutilio Grande and the figure of Mgr. Oscar Arnulfo Romero (killed in 1980), are seeds of saints and martyrs, in the name of Jesus Christ, which fertilize an entire people,» said the local Church. In 2020, the Salvadoran Church will experience two solemn celebrations: March 12 is the 43rd anniversary of the martyrdom of Fr. Rutilio Grande; March 24, 40th Anniversary of the martyrdom of Saint Oscar Arnulfo Romero.

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