Commission on the truth for el salvador

The Truth Commission for El Salvador (Spanish: Comisión de la Verdad para El Salvador) was a truth commission established by the United Nations to investigate and report on human rights abuses during the civil war in El Salvador (1980–1992).

The Commission was established by the 1992 Chapultepec Peace Accords that brought the civil war to an end. Article 2 of the Accords stipulates, "The Commission shall have the task of investigating serious acts of violence that have occurred since 1980 and whose impact on society urgently demands that the public should know the truth".[1]

The Commission was charged with clarifying and putting an end to any indication of impunity on the part of officers of the armed forces, as explained in Article 5 of the Chapultepec Peace Agreement: "acts of this nature, regardless of the sector to which their perpetrators belong, must be the object of exemplary action by the law courts so that the punishment prescribed by law is meted out to those found responsible".[2]

The Commission received testimony from 2,000 people in relation to 7,000 victims, and gathered information from secondary sources related to more than 8,000 victims. In addition, 23,000 additional written statements were received. From this evidence, the commission selected 13,569 cases and highlighted 32 cases which illustrated the patterns of violence by the combatants in the war: the Armed Forces of El Salvador, the death squads and the Farabundo Martí Liberation Front (FMLN).

On March 15, 1993, the commission published its report From Madness to Hope: the 12-year war in El Salvador. The Commission attributed the assassination of Archbishop Óscar Romero to the death squads, as well as the deaths of the victims of the El Mozote Massacre. The murders of six Jesuit priests in November 1989 were attributed to the Armed Forces of El Salvador. The killing of mayors and members of the government were attributed to guerrilla militias as were kidnappings, bombings, rape and murder.[3]

Five days after the commission issued its report, the Legislative Assembly of El Salvador approved an amnesty law covering all the violent events of the war.

The chair was the former president of Colombia Belisario Betancur. The other members were Venezuelan Reinaldo Figueredo and American Thomas Buergenthal. They were appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Boutros Boutros Ghali.


External links

  • Full text of the Commission's report

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