Monday, October 27, 2008

The Amnesty Law

For the upcoming municipal, legislative, and presidential elections 2009, the question of justice for the wounds from the civil war is raising up in the public debate. The El Salvadoran civil war resulted in 75000 deaths and 10000 disappearings, according to a study performed by the UN. The law of amnesty is still protecting the offenders from any kind of investigation. Human rights organizations and relatives of victims are demanding a repeal of the law. In responding to this issue, both presidential candidates are clearly opposing the repealment of the law. Mauricio Funes, the presidential candidate for FMLN, states that repealing the amnesty law would create a difficult climate for governing and therefore restrain the creation of a new future. He further states that instead of contributing to reconciliation, it will open up wounds. The presidential candidate for ARENA, Rodrigo Avila, is also distancing himself from a repealment of the amnesty law and is backing up the army which would be threatened by an eventual repealment.

Human rights organizations are especially disappointed with the FMLN, which in contrast to other Latin American leftist parties asuming power, does not want to open this issue from the past. The director of the legal division of the Catholic church, Ovidio Mauricio González, opposes Funes and claims that the wounds are already open and that a decree will not heal these wounds.
He asks rethorically what the victims will say about this. Victims and relatives of victims are stating that they will continue to fight for justice, even if it will take time.

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