International crimes committed during the conflict in El Salvador do not allow for amnesty or other impediments to prosecution

April 8, 2019

In an open letter, more than 50 human rights experts reject El Salvador's Legislative Assembly's attempt to pass a proposal for a new Amnesty Law that favors those responsible for committing the gravest crimes during the armed conflict and prevents justice for victims. The experts also call on the President-Elect, Nayib Bukele, and Attorney General, Raúl Melara, to publicly oppose the proposed legislation. In 2016, the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court declared the 1993 Amnesty Law unconstitutional and ordered the Legislative Assembly to review and/or approve legislation on reparation for victims and access to information in the State's archives, including the armed forces, none of which has been complied with. 

The experts also question the impartiality of the Commission that is proposing the legislation. Two of its members, Rodolfo Antonio Parker Soto and José Antonio Almendáriz were cited by the Truth Commission as responsible for covering up crimes during the armed conflict, and a third member, Mauricio Ernesto Vargas, was a high ranking military official during the bloodiest years of the war.

See the complete letter here.