El Mozote -- Funes meets with victims' families
Sixth in a series
This past Monday, President Funes met with relatives of the victims of the massacre at El Mozote and promised reparations. Translated from the article in DiarioCoLatino:
President of the Republic, Mauricio Funes, revealed [December 5] that on the coming 16th, during a ceremony commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Peace Accords, he will present a set of collective reparations for victims of gross violations to human rights. The President revealed this initiative today at a meeting behind closed doors, he had with family members and representatives of organizations that were formed after the slaughter at El Mozote.
"It will be a public act, we want to have widely available, because it is an occasion to again express to the people and the international community the commitment of the government of El Salvador with full respect for human rights and the policy of reparations," the leader told the relatives of victims of the massacre recorded on 10, 11 and December 12, 1981, in Mozote, La Joya and Los Toriles, in the department of Morazán.
"What is in our power and our responsibility will be done. And together we will promote measures that depend not on the executive branch, but are related to the work of Justice and of the Attorney General of the Republic," he said.
According to subsequent investigations of the Truth Commission (the UN agency created to investigate the acts of violence committed during the Salvadoran civil war) approximately 900 Salvadoran peasants were killed in El Mozote and surrounding cantons. It is considered not only the greatest act of violence against civilians committed by government agents during the civil war. "Thank you for coming to the presidential palace. For me it is a pleasure to welcome you. Very symbolic. Before, during right-wing governments, just big business arrived here, the owners of the country, as they believed themselves," Funes told the visitors....
"I want to express my solidarity as always and to say that the government and this servant have a very strong commitment to the respect and vindication of human rights," he said.
The President also pledged to continue promoting concrete reparation measures to be accomplished in dialogue between the government and relatives of the victims of the slaughter.
"The fruit of this dialogue will be measures that we will adopt and take forward," he acknowledged.
President Funes stressed that his government will follow up directly with what happens in the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) in this case, through the Directorate of Human Rights in the Foreign Ministry and the Ministry of Social Inclusion.
"With the apology to the relatives of the victims, two years ago we began a process of recovery of the truth and reparations that the country, under the governments of the right, had prevented," he recalled.