Posts Tagged ‘truth’

Sanchez Ceren Commits to Reparations for Human Rights Violations

August 14, 2014

SHARE supports the Pro-Historical Memory Commission with a project to strengthen advocacy and take six cases of forced disappearance and one case of massacre to justice. Click here for current advocacy action opportunities in support of Pro-Memoria.

ProMemoria con Presidente Sanchez Ceren_Julio2014

Marina Ortiz with President Sanchez Ceren and First Lady Doña Margarita Villalta de Sanchez. (Courtesy Pro-Memoria)

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.

Carlos Marvel presents a special gift of recognition to the President and First Lady.

Carlos Marvel presents a special gift of recognition to the President and First Lady.

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.

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Small groups changing the world

June 16, 2014

In March, human rights lawyer Wilfredo Medrano, part of the team of Tutela Legal María Julia Hernandez and SHARE staff Bethany Loberg traveled to the U.S. to raise awareness around the struggle for justice for crimes against humanity in El Salvador and the work of Tutela Legal and the Pro-Historical Memory Commission. Tutela Legal was the Archdiocese’s human rights office. Judy Swett and Kathy Tighe, Associates of the Sisters of St. Joseph Boston, who hosted the tour in Boston, share their reflections on the experience.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

Wilfredo visits with a tour participant at St. Ignatius in Boston.

Wilfredo visits with a tour participant at St. Ignatius in Boston.

On a rainy, bone-chilling cold Sunday night in March a steady stream of Boston College students filled the pews at St. Ignatius, curious about the current state of Tutela Legal. They came to listen, reflect and question. The following night at Regis College, students including several of Salvadoran descent came to hear from Wilfredo Medrano of Tutela Legal and share in discussion about Tutela’s work. In both settings Wilfredo movingly shared the reality of being a lawyer committed to bringing the cases of forced disappearance, massacre, and torture to trial in El Salvador. All present witnessed the bravery of this former college student, who, inspired by Dr. Maria Julia Hernandez, a pioneer and founder of Tutela Legal, also became a fierce advocate for peace and justice through the full exercise of human rights. Read More »

1991 Ambush in Zapote Chalatenango

April 28, 2014

April 11 commemorated the 23rd anniversary of the assassination of guerrilla commander Jesus Rojas “Antonio Cardenal Caldera” and 14 comrades, people who gave their lives in the ambush of the Zapote in the department of Chalatenango. The ambush is commemorated each year with a Mass in honor of the victims and survivors. The act is organized by the parish of Arcatao, nearby communities and the CCR.

Mass to honor the victims./Misa solemne para rendir honor a las victimas.

Mass to honor the victims./Misa solemne para rendir honor a las victimas.

Rojas was born in Nicaragua, was a Jesuit seminarian enlightened by Vatican II, Medellin and his uncle, the poet Ernesto Cardenal. He decided to walk the dusty villages of Aguilares, El Paisnal and Guazapa in 1973. He opened a gap to armed popular struggle, until he became a member of the Central Committee and the Political Committee of the FPL.

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Standing for Justice for Grave Human Rights Violations in El Salvador: The International Community Calls for Action

March 28, 2014

Wilfredo Medrano of Tutela Legal Maria Julia Hernandez and Bethany Loberg of SHARE El Salvador are touring the East Coast of the United States increasing awareness of the movement for truth and justice in  El Salvador. So far they have visited Houston, North Carolina, Washington D.C. and Philadelphia.

Even if you’re not able to join the tour you can be part of the movement for Truth and Justice in El Salvador by signing onto the following statement:

[emailpetition id=”4″]

Standing for Justice for Grave Human Rights Violations in El Salvador:

The International Community Calls for Action

March 2014 

As members of the international community – human rights, solidarity, faith and community organizations and individuals, we express our solidarity with the Pro-Historical Memory Human Rights Working Commission and with the victims of grave human rights violations in their demands that the government of El Salvador take actions to implement a holistic policy of truth, justice, and reparations.

Although 22 years have passed since the Peace Accords, El Salvador continues to suffer a high level of violence, concentration of resources, and impunity. With the General Amnesty Law and the lack of political will to implement justice, the majority of the grave human rights violations during the armed conflict continue in impunity. Healing the wounds left by past governments’ policies of terror is essential to achieve true peace. Otherwise the wounds will continue to manifest in violence and impunity today and in the future. Read More »

Order of Capture for Ex-Minister of Public Works: A Step Towards Justice for Corruption!

September 26, 2013


The Monseñor Romero Boulevard connects San Salvador to Santa Tecla and Merliot

The Monseñor Romero Boulevard connects San Salvador to Santa Tecla and Merliot

Salvadorans across the country were outraged to learn that the construction of the Diego de Holguín Boulevard, recently re-named the Monsignor Romero Boulevard, which connects San Salvador to Santa Tecla and Merliot, cost the Salvadoran people nearly 100 million dollars. The extravagant price was due to the infamous corruption under the presidency of Elias Antonio Saca of the ARENA party, currently presidential candidate for the UNITY party. 

Following the installation of the new Minister of Public Works, Gerson Martinez, under the Funes administration in 2009, the ministry conducted an investigation of the case and presented evidence to the Attorney General’s Office to proceed with their investigation. After a long silence, just over a week ago news broke of the capture of eight individuals involved in this case, including former Deputy Minister of Public Works, Sigifredo Ochoa Gomez and the former Minister of Public Works, Jorge Nieto, who was the main actor implicated as responsible. The Attorney General´s office issued the arrest warrants.

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Sign the Petition to Declare August 30th the Day of the Disappeared

August 15, 2013

Today, August 15th, 2013 we celebrate the birth of Oscar Arnulfo Romero, a man whose words and example continue to reverberate through El Salvador and the world. During his Sunday morning homilies as Archbishop, Monseñor Romero always gave voice to the names of the victims of forced disappearance each week. He spoke constantly for human rights, truth, justice, and love. He supported the COMADRES from the very beginning of their search for their disappeared loved ones.  The victims of human rights violations together with the organizations of the Pro-Historical Memory Commission continue to speak and act for justice today. One of the reparations they have called for since the 1990s is to have a day dedicated to the victims of forced disappearance, but they need our help to make it happen.

We invite YOU to take action in memory of Monseñor Romero: Sign a petition to call on the Salvadoran Legislative Assembly to declare August 30th the National Day of the Detained and Disappeared!


Declare August 30th The Day of the Victims of Forced Disappearance


168 signatures

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Dreams of healing

June 13, 2013

Drew Theological School was honored to host guests from El Salvador this month, guests dedicated to speaking truth and seeking justice. El Salvador is a country that struggles to heal from a violent and brutal war. Patricia Garcia and Marina Ortiz of the Pro-Historical Memory Commission experienced that violence first hand. The women share their stories with the hope that justice for those who suffer can be realized through the power of truth-telling.

Marina with Antonia Cabrera, member of COMEFAC and the Pro-Historical Memory Commission

Marina with Antonia Cabrera, member of COMEFAC and the Pro-Historical Memory Commission

For Marina, who was raised in an orphanage during the armed conflict, and Patricia, whose family members suffered torture and murder, this truth is about the future of El Salvador, its very soul, and its newest generation. What kind of El Salvador will these children know? For Marina and Patricia, this truth is about the countless mothers—grandmothers now—who carry photographs of the young people they lost without a trace, this truth is about the thousands of children stolen or orphaned, with no memory of the parents who treasured them. Read More »

A Celebration for all the Madres!

June 4, 2013

Smiling faces and hearty embraces mixed with tears and raw memories lived on Friday, May 31st as over two hundred victims of human rights violations and human rights defenders joined the Pro-Historical Memory Commission and SHARE in a commemoration and celebration to close the International Week of the Detained and Disappeared, honor all of the Mothers of the Disappeared, and celebrate Madre Guadalupe´s 70th birthday. “Madre” Guadalupe Mejía is the president of the Committee of Family Members of Victims of Grave Human Rights Violations (CODEFAM) and is considered by many to be the grandmother of the fight for human rights in El Salvador.

Held at the Museo Tecleño, the gathering brought together many friends united by their decades long struggle for justice and respect for human rights. The Museo Tecleño, once a detention center for political prisoners, now serves as a museum dedicated to historical memory and cultural education, a fitting space for a commemoration filled with pain, inspiration, gratitude, and hope.

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Guatemalan General Found Guilty of Genocide

May 14, 2013

“As a human rights organization, and relatives of victims of human rights violations, we are so happy to hear of the outcome [of the Ríos Montt case].  It is just one small step in the process to bring to justice so many military officials who committed grave human rights abuses against our people in Central America.  The verdict shows that justice doesn’t spare anyone, even those military officials who thought they would never be tried for their crimes.  This precedent stands at a global level as an example.  There is no reconciliation without justice. Thank God that justice is being done.” Madre Guadalupe, CODEFAM

The Verdict: Guilty for the death of 1200 people

The Verdict: Guilty for the death of 1,771 people

While campesinos in the Salvadoran countryside fought for their rights, a beloved priest held communion beneath the gaze of gunpoint, and every step toward freedom coincided with another life taken, a similarly haunting war raged in Guatemala. From 1960 to 1996, an estimated 200,000 people were killed or disappeared in Guatemala, with impunity blocking justice at every turn. Until recently, little progress had been made in punishing those guilty of the murders, tortures, and other human rights abuses carried out during these three decades. In a historical decision made on Friday, May 10, 2013 a three judge Guatemalan court convicted the former military dictator General Efraín Ríos Montt, for genocide and crimes against humanity. The court found him guilty for the massacre of 1,771 Mayan Ixil people, sentencing Montt to 50 years in prison. This verdict marks the first time a former head of state was found liable of genocide in a national court. The decision is a great victory for the movement for truth and  justice for victims of human rights abuses around the world.

For the full story, read this news brief.

Singing for Peace and Freedom

April 22, 2013

Marina, Patricia, and Bethany continue on to Boston, MA and the the Pacific Northwest Coast on the Tour for Truth and Justice for El Salvador this week, join them by attending an event! If you are not able to attend an event, we invite you to watch the video below to gain a better perspective on the Pro-Historical Memory Commission and the Campaign for Truth, Justice, and Reparations through poetry, and song, and interviews.

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