On March 20, the Salvadoran Association for Human Rights (ASDEHU) will request the Dulce Nombre de Maria City Court to expedite the extradition process of several former military commanders involved in the murder of four Dutch journalists in 1982.
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This political assassination occurred on March 17, 1982, a date that Salvadorans remembered by placing a wreath at the "Memory and Truth" monument, in Cuscatlan Park, in San Salvador.
In 1993, the United Nations Truth Commission Report acknowledged that Koos Jacobus Andries Koster, Jan Cornelius Kuiper Jop, Hans Lodewijk ter Laag, and Johannes Jan Willemsen were murdered on the orders of Colonel Mario Reyes, the commander of the 4th Infantry Brigade.
At the time of their murder, the four journalists were working on a report for IKON TV on the situation of civilian survivors of “Scorched Earth” counterinsurgency operations, the European Union office in El Salvador recalled.
In July 2021, through ASDEHU and Comunicandonos Foundation's lawyers, relatives of the Dutch journalists initiated criminal proceedings against the murderers.
In October 2022, the Dulce Nombre de Maria City Court ordered the arrest of Colonel Reyes, who is residing in the United States. It also ordered the arrest of Colonel Francisco Moran and Gen. Guillermo Garcia, who are already under arrest in San Salvador city.
During the civil war (1980-1992), Washington supported the Salvadoran governments in the fight against the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN). Counterinsurgency operations left 75,000 dead and 8,000 missing.
At least 30 journalists were assassinated and 4 disappeared, not counting dozens of press workers who were injured or tortured.