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News > El Salvador

Salvadoran NGO's Present New Transitional Justice Law Proposal

  • Photograph of a drone where a panoramic view of the city of San Salvador (El Salvador) is observed today.

    Photograph of a drone where a panoramic view of the city of San Salvador (El Salvador) is observed today. | Photo: EFE / Rodrigo Sura

Published 7 October 2021

Representatives of several civil societies and human rights organizations presented this Thursday before Congress a new proposal for a transitional justice law for victims of the civil war (1980-1992).

In February 2020, members of the Legislative Assembly approved the Special Law on Transitional Justice, Reparation and National Reconciliation, which was rejected by the victims of the armed conflict and vetoed by President Nayib Bukele as unconstitutional.

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Congress did not overcome the president's veto and the law was shelved, so current members of the Justice and Human Rights Commission have resumed the discussion to elaborate on a new law.

For this reason, representatives of more than 10 NGOs took to Parliament a proposal which is the result of "broad consultations with social organizations, victims' committees, international specialists in transitional justice" and which "complies with the orders of the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice," the entities said in a press release.

The Constitutional Chamber annulled in 2016 a 1993 amnesty law that prevented the prosecution of war crimes and ordered the Legislative body to create a regulation that would guarantee access to justice for victims of the war.

The new bill also takes up some proposals raised in other documents presented in 2019 and 2020 before Congress, they said.

Irene Gómez, from the humanitarian organization Cristosal, explained to journalists that the proposal contains the four essential elements that transitional justice must-have.

She said that these are justice, truth, comprehensive reparation, and guarantees of non-repetition of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The activists asked the deputies of the Legislative Assembly to analyze the proposal and that it be approved to "settle the historical debt that the Salvadoran State has with the victims of the war."

Between 1980 and 1992, the guerrilla group Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) confronted the Army of El Salvador, financed by the United States, in a conflict that in 12 years left 75,000 dead and 8,000 disappeared.

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