July 30, 2021

They ask Salvadoran president to recover UN archives of Jesuit massacre

They ask Salvadoran president to recover UN archives of Jesuit massacre

The Salvadoran Institute for Human Rights of the Central American University (Idhuca) today requested a state agency for access to information to order the president, Salvador Sánchez Cerén, to recover the files on the massacre of six Jesuits and two of his collaborators in 1989. they are in the power of the UN.

The petition was given in an "oral hearing" against the Salvadoran Government before the Institute of Access to Public Information (IAIP), in which it had to report on the progress in the efforts to obtain the files that were used to prepare a report on the human rights violations between 1980 and 1992.

"The president of the Republic, as the highest authority of the executive body, is responsible for recovering the files of the Truth Commission," said Manuel Escalante, lawyer of the Idhuca in the aforementioned hearing.

The lawyer said that these documents "would contribute decisively to the attainment of justice" in the process against those linked to the murder of the Jesuits and other war crimes, given that the United Nations Truth Commission issued its report with "strict scientific rigor ".

He added that "this access to the archives is of the utmost importance" so that "judicial investigations can be encouraged" in cases like the Jesuits, the massacre of some 1,000 peasants in El Mozote and the assassination of Monsignor Óscar Arnulfo Romero.

The representative of the Executive during the hearing, Luis Portillo, said that they made the request for information to the George Washington University in the United States, where a copy of the files was supposedly deposited, and asked the Foreign Ministry to initiate the proceedings before the UN.

Portillo pointed out that the aforementioned center of higher education manifested in a letter to the presidential commissioner of Human Rights, Silvia Guillen, and Transparency Secretary, Marco Rodríguez, that they do not have the copy in their possession.

"These documents were not deposited at George Washington University or any institution affiliated with the university," reads a letter dated July 9 from the educational institution and received by the government.

The government lawyer added that the Presidency has not yet received a response from the Foreign Ministry of the request to manage the delivery or access to the archives of the Truth Commission.

On April 17, a court declared the "absolute nullity" of the dismissal in favor of former president Alfredo Cristiani (1989-1994) and the retired military Humberto Larios, Juan Rafael Bustillo, Francisco Elena Fuentes, Orlando Zepeda, Innocente Montano and the deceased René Emilio Ponce for the massacre.

On November 16, 1989, a squadron of the Army's elite Atlácatl battalion killed the Spaniards Ignacio Ellacuría, Segundo Montes, Ignacio Martín-Baró, Amando López and Juan Ramón Moreno and the Salvadoran Joaquín López. Also to Elba Ramos and his daughter Celina, collaborators of the religious.


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