I regret to write you under these circumstances, but unfortunately, violence is all-too-often a part of daily life, reality in El Salvador.
On Monday evening, April 19th, two teachers and the director of El Ángel school in San Juan Opico, municipality neighborhing San Pablo Tacachico, were kidnapped, shot and killed. Classes were immediately suspended and marches took place in the area to protest ongoing violence and impunity. Indignation and fear are palpable.
Scroll below to read the UCRES press release along with a letter of condemnation, condolensce and solidarity drafted by SHARE. We would like to send this to UCRES and communities as soon as possible, ideally tomorrow. PLEASE let me know (tedde@share-elsalvador) as soon as you are able whether we can add your parish, school or committee signature to this letter, and circulate this information within your community. As we get more information on this case, we will be sure to pass it along.
Thank you for your accompaniment in the joyful and sorrowful times,
Tedde and the SHARE El Salvador team
UCRES demands an exhuastive investigation of crimes against community leaders and teachers.
The Union of Rural Communities in Northern San Salvador and La Libertad, UCRES, expresse or condemnation, repudiation and indignation of the assasinations that have occured in the department of La Libertad against community leaders and teachers.
Over the past three years, assasinations have been registered in the communities Husisilapa, William Fuentes and Ita Maura, in the municipality of San Pablo Tacachico. The first incident of violence, in the community Willian Fuentes, was fatal, in which a nine-year old girl was killed after a shooting perpetrated by unknown subjects. Four youth were injured in this event. In Huisisilapa, neighboring community to William Fuentes, a shooting left three young people and an adult woman dead, with other youth wounded. In this same form, shootings have occured in Ita Maura, the community next to Huisisilapa, causing the death of three youth and injuring three more, including a young woman. In February 2010, there was yet another assasination in Husisilapa, this time taking the life of a 45-year old woman. Husisilapa and Ita Maura are organized repopulated communities that, in 1991, founded UCRES, and William Fuentes is an organized community of former FMLN combatants.
Very recently, violence took hold in another sector of the population. This April 19th, 2010, Felipa Audelia Barillas Ayala, 44 years old, her sister and kindergarten teacher Marlene del Carmen Barillas, 35 years old, and computer and english teacher Tomás Antonio Gómez, 38 years old. These three people were killed by gunfire on Monday night in the La Copinola stream, in La Hacienda Talcualuya, located in the caserío El Ángel, in San Juan Opico, La Libertad. The three taught at the public school in El Ángel.
UCRES condems these violent acts and demans that the respective state branches, but prinicipally the Attorney General and the National Civilian Police, carry out an extensive investigation to find those responsible for these killings and that impunity no be allowed to continue to rule, as it has before and as has occured with other cases on the national level.
We request that sister and allied organizations unite with us to demand that the Executive put in disposition the necessary resources in and most ideal people to find the whereabouts of the true culprits and that justice be done. Local authorities have not been capable of uncovering the truth in these cases.
Facing this context, we declare our complete solidarity with the familes and friends in mourning and with the communities and we confirm our commitment to truth and justice, as preached by Father Rutilio Grande and Monseñor Romero.
Finally, we make a call to civil society, to redouble our efforts to put an end to impunity, to join forces in a common, pacific struggle to articulate and promote the denouncement of these crimes and in defense of human rights, for a society without violence in our region and in our country.
The question we ask ourselves is: When does it end?