Scant efforts to investigate and prosecute perpetrators of violence against women
In a statement released in connection with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, Amnesty International criticized the government of El Salvador for failing to adequately investigate and prosecute crimes involving violence against women:
The government of El Salvador has an outstanding debt to the women of this country, a debt that can only be repaid with justice, said Amnesty International today Â International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women Â on publication of a letter to President Saca.
In the letter, Amnesty International highlights its concern at the lack of willingness on the part of the authorities to thoroughly investigate the cases of murders of women and the treatment the victimsÂ families receive when they report these crimes.
Between the end of 2002 and the middle of 2004, at least 20 women and girls were sexually abused and brutally murdered in El Salvador.
In 12 of the 20 cases, the bodies were disfigured, dismembered or decapitated. Some showed signs of having been burnt and two of the bodies presented no more than charred remains.
Only in three of the 20 cases have those responsible been brought to justice and sentenced. In the others, investigations were either incompetent or non-existent.
Meanwhile, hundreds of women took to the streets of San Salvador yesterday in demonstrations as part of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.