Massacre case in El Mozote continues its slow progress

The case of the 1981 massacre of children, the elderly and others at El Mozote and surrounding communities continues its slow but steady progress in a courtroom in San Francisco Gotera, El Salvador.  There a judge is hearing a criminal case against generals and other military commanders for their responsibility for the massacre which killed almost 1000 civilians, more than half of whom were children.

The judge has now decided to allow the addition of new charges to the case including charges of torture, disappearances and forced displacement.   These additional charges were permitted after the testimony of more than 40 witnesses had been heard over the past two years and permits a broader view of the actions by the military in El Mozote, beyond just the actual slaughter of children and other civilians.

The judge has also ordered stepped up measures for the defendants who up until now were largely unrestricted.   They are prohibited from leaving the country, must appear in San Francisco Gotera twice a month, and may have no contact with the witnesses.   This reflects the determination of the judge that the proof introduced of the culpability of these defendants requires that they be under control of the court.

Also this week, another voice added to the calls that the name of Colonel Domingo Monterrosa be removed from the military barracks outside San Miguel.  Monterrosa was the military commander who led the El Mozote massacre.  The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence, Fabian Salvioli, told the Salvadoran government this week that it should pull down Monterrosa's name from the Third Infantry barracks.  Salvioli declared that one can't pay honors to the author of a massacre -- what kind of values would those be? 


Greg said…
Oft times the wheels of Justice turn slowly but they do turn.

DM's name should be left in place at 3rd BDE. As a daily reminder of not only the massacre but, today, of the trial taking place.

It can come down once appropriate verdicts are rendered as a symbolic victory.

"Todo por la Patria!"