No amnesty, but no progress

One year ago, El Salvador's Supreme Court nullified a 1993 Amnesty Law which provided immunity from prosecution for persons who had committed massacres and atrocities during El Salvador's Civil war.  Since that time, however, there has been little attempt in El Salvador to have civil war atrocities tried in the country's court system.   So the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Judicial Court has scheduled a public hearing on Wednesday, July 19, to review compliance with the court's determination that there should be progress on crimes against humanity:
The purpose of said hearing is that the heads of the Legislative Branch, Executive Branch and Attorney General of the Republic describe and take responsibility for the decisions and actions taken to comply with the judgment. 
The Chamber decided that compliance with the judgment required supplementary legislation for a genuine democratic transition with respect for human dignity and fundamental rights of victims, especially the rights of access to justice and to the courts, the right to holistic reparations, the right to truth and the guarantee of non-repetition of crimes against humanity and war crimes constituting serious violations of international human rights law. 
All this requires coordinated collaboration between the Executive Branch and the Attorney General's Office. On the one hand, the Attorney General of the Republic has the constitutional obligation to move forward the corresponding criminal action with reasonable promptness, to the effect that the judicial authorities fulfill their role to judge and to execute judgments in protecting the rights of the victims.  On the other hand, it is the duty of the Executive Branch  to design, implement and follow up with State policies for the protection, promotion and guarantee of fundamental rights and, in addition, ensure that priorities in the allocation and execution of resources are linked to effective respect for fundamental rights.
As previously noted on this blog, there has been some progress on the case against military leaders responsible for the 1981 El Mozote massacre.  The case of the assassination of Oscar Romero has also  been reopened.   Yet this progress has occurred without any real participation by the attorney general's office.   Most of the progress has been as a result of a group of public interest lawyers who represent the victims and the role of the court in moving the reopened case forward.

The FMLN governments since 2009 have apologized to the victims on the part of the nation, and acknowledged the responsibility of the Salvadoran state for the massacre at El Mozote and the 1989 Jesuit murders.    But beyond small additional steps at reparations, the government has taken no steps towards justice which would include a full exposition of the events surrounding these war crimes, identifying those responsible and assigning blame.  The attorney general's office claims to be hamstrung in its pursuit of such cases by a lack of resources.

We can expect the parties to pay lip service to the need for justice and accountability for wartime crimes at the public hearing, but little plans for concrete action.   One question which must be asked-- when will the military open its archives?