Renewed calls for accountability

Legislators from three of El Salvador's political parties last week renewed a call for a process to hold members of the armed forces accountable for atrocities committed during the 1970's and 1980's. The legislators from the FMLN, the Christian Democratic Party, and the Democratic Change party were reacting to current proceedings in Chile which seek to hold accountable the regime of Pinochet for crimes against humanity.

As reported in Diario Colatino, leaders from ARENA rejected any call to set aside the 1993 amnesty law, arguing that the example of Chile was not appropriate because Pinochet was a dictator and events in El Salvador occurred during an armed conflict.

The ARENA government has so far rejected even the judgments of international courts placing responsibility for crimes against civilians during the civil war. In March 2005, the Inter-American Court for Human Rights issued its judgment in the case of the Serrano sisters. The Court found the Salvadoran government responsible for the disappearance of the two little girls during the civil war. The judgment requires the Salvadoran government to compensate the family, to conduct an investigation to determine the persons responsible for the abductions, to set up a national commission to help find disappeared children and to do everything to search for the Serrano sisters. So far the government has refused to do any of these things.