Sanchez Ceren Commits to Reparations for Human Rights Violations
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True to his words in his inaugural address, President Sanchez Ceren has taken initial steps to establish coordination with the relatives of the disappeared and with the Pro-Historical Memory Commission to solidify a policy of reparations.
On Sunday, July 6th, Sanchez Ceren hosted representatives of each of the member organizations of the Pro-Historical Memory Commission and twenty-five relatives of the disappeared for a breakfast at the presidential residence. The breakfast marks a symbolic commitment to work with victims and human rights organizations to address the still deep wounds left by egregious human rights violations during the war. Marina Ortiz, who participated as the representative of PROBUSQUEDA to the Pro-Historical Memory Commission commented “It was an important space for the victims, because it visibilizes them and the president showed a commitment to them.”
The following day, Monday July 7th, the president held a press conference announcing the creation of the Board of Directors of the Program of Reparations for Victims of the Armed Conflict, the committee created to oversee implementation of Executive Decree 204, a decree establishing a government program of reparations. The government issued the decree with such little fanfare last fall that even human rights organizations did not know it had been approved for a month. The decree and this committee are the fruit of coordination between the Pro-Historical Memory Commission (PRO-MEMORIA) and the Funes administration. However, the press conference Sanchez Ceren held marks the first time this reparations program has been brought to the attention of the Salvadoran public.
Madre Guadalupe Mejia, Coordinator of the Pro-Historical Memory Commission and President of CODEFAM sends this message to the international community: it is important to remain alert, to watch and support this process, to ensure that it becomes a reality. We ask that you support us now just as people supported us during the war, that there be support for the process of reparation and healing.