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  • Victims and Relatives Canvass for War Crimes Reparations Law in El Salvador
Published 1 September 2017

75,000 people were killed and a further 8,000 disappeared during the 12-year conflict.

A group of organizations representing the victims of crimes committed during El Salvador's civil war have presented a proposal for a Comprehensive Reparation Law to the nation's Legislative Assembly.


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They are calling for the State to respond "to the crimes committed in the country's conflict" including murders, human rights violations and enforced disappearances, between 1980 and 1992.

Relatives of the victims, as well as victims themselves, marched from the Cuscatlan park in the capital San Salvador to the Assembly building where they met the Deputy of the country's ruling Farabundo Front for National Liberation, or FMLN, Nidia Diaz and handed in the proposal.

Roxana Concepcion Benitez, one of the victims who took part in the march, told the Spanish news agency Efe that "it is time for reparations and the corresponding authorities should respond to us because they are many brothers, fathers and mothers who are still missing and for whom we continue to fight." 

Benitez said the deputies of the Salvadoran Congress should support them by analyzing and approving the law, because she said, it "will benefit all the victims of war who have been forgotten."

Roxana's younger brother, 17-year-old Jose Tito Benitez, went missing on November 11, 1981, from the town of Mejicanos where he lived with his family. She said she found out three years after his disappearance that he had been abducted by "death squads and the National Police."

The proposed law calls for the setting up of a reparation fund, a registry of victims and additional compensation measures.

The legislation was recommended by United Nations-mandated Truth Commission which brokered an end to the war in the early 1990s.

A 2016 judgment, which ruled that a previous amnesty law was unconstitutional, also ordered "the consideration of comprehensive reparation measures for victims."  

During the 12-year war, the guerrillas of the FMLN, which later became a political party, fought against the US-backed military government.

75,000 people were killed and a further 8,000 disappeared, according to official figures. 

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