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  • El Mozote Victims' Memorial, in Morazán, El Salvador.

    El Mozote Victims' Memorial, in Morazán, El Salvador. | Photo: @minhagalera1985

Published 24 September 2020
Opinion

On September 21, law enforcement prevented Judge Jorge Guzman from examining documents filed in the records of the General State of the Armed Forces, in regards to the massacre of about 1000 farmers from El Mozote in 1981.

Human rights advocates, judges, and attorneys of El Mozote victims have condemned President Nayib Bukele's silence after the army prevented a judge from accessing "El Mozote massacre" documents. 

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On September 21, law enforcement prevented Judge Jorge Guzman from examining documents filed in the records of the General State of the Armed Forces regarding the massacre of about 1000 farmers from El Mozote in 1981.

After the event, Guzman and other claimants said the military followed an order from a high-level superior, probably the President. The lack of response on the Bukele side insinuates his association in the military actions and his complicity with war veterans accountable for the El Mozote massacre.  

"This day is engraved in our memory that the President of the Republic (Nayib Bukele) is another president who overlooks impunity, deceit, and double standards", said the Association for the Promotion of Human Rights in El Mozote (APDHEM).

"We must be alert in the next few days to a possible purely media montage from the government, intended to come to terms with international pressures and the indignation of the victims," said human rights defender Celia Medrano.

The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said it would assess the development of the events, and the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) stressed no one is over the law in El Salvador.

From December 10 to 13, 1981, elite units of the Salvadoran army executed 998 people in El Mozote, most of them were children. Over a dozen retired military could face charges of war and against humanity crimes. 

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