El Salvador cancels the commemoration of the peace agreements that put an end to the armed conflict | International

A cameraman walks in front of a painting dedicated to Saint Óscar Romero and six Jesuit priests assassinated on November 16, 1989 in San Salvador.
A cameraman walks in front of a painting dedicated to Saint Óscar Romero and six Jesuit priests assassinated on November 16, 1989 in San Salvador.Rodrigo Sura (EFE)

The Legislative Assembly of El Salvador, controlled by President Nayib Bukele, approved a decree that eliminates the commemoration of the Peace Accords that ended a bloody civil war that left more than 75,000 dead. The decree was approved with 62 votes in favor of the ruling party, with which the legislators seal one of the main demands of Bukele, for whom the agreements were a “farce” that did not generate “any benefit” for Salvadorans, despite the fact that The so-called Pact of Chapultepec —because it was signed in Mexico— made it possible to put limits on the Army, recognize human rights violations, establish a democratic system and create a police force under the control of civil power. Instead, the deputies approved declaring January 16 as National Day of the Victims of the Armed Conflict.

According to the opinion voted on Tuesday, “the aforementioned Agreements, far from representing a benefit for the Salvadoran population, constituted the beginning of an era of corruption, leaving the rights and the most basic needs of the population in oblivion for decades, such as health, education, housing and social justice”. It is a “just recognition of all the people who gave their lives during the conflict, as well as all the people who suffered the loss of their relatives with the false idea of ​​a fairer society that never came.”

With this decree, President Bukele intends to erase from history the actors who signed the Chapultepec Pact, the members of the right-wing Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA) and the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN), the left-wing guerrilla that confronted the Army in a terrible civil war that left several of the bloodiest episodes on the continent, including the El Mozote massacre – where at least 986 people were killed (552 children and 434 adults, including 12 pregnant women )—and the massacre of Jesuits at the Central American University of San Salvador.

“The war was a farce. They killed 75,000 people between the two sides. It was a farce like the Peace Accords. A negotiation between two domes, but what benefit did the Peace Agreements bring to the Salvadoran people? They were signed on January 16, 1992, and what did they gain? What did the Salvadoran people gain,” Bukele said in December 2020. “From now on, by presidential decree, we will stop commemorating those who ordered their deaths and we will begin to commemorate those who should be commemorated,” added the president.

The Peace Accords were signed on January 16, 1992 at Chapultepec Castle, in Mexico City, by the Salvadoran government and the guerrillas to put an end to twelve years of a bloody civil war that had also left 8,000 missing. The document establishes putting an end to the conflict, promoting the democratization of El Salvador, guaranteeing unrestricted respect for human rights and reunifying Salvadoran society.

Human rights defenders have criticized the authoritarian drift of Bukele, who since taking power in June 2019 has made controversial decisions, such as the dismissal of judges to put loyal magistrates in their place, criticism of the independent press and espionage. to journalists, the raid on the headquarters of NGOs, several of them related to the feminist movement, or when he burst into the Assembly surrounded by police and military after the refusal of the deputies to approve a key loan. The opposition denounced that it was a “self-coup”.

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The organization Human Rights Watch (HWR) has warned this Thursday in a report that Bukele and his allies “have undermined the basic democratic checks and balances” in El Salvador and accuses him of “continuing to use the military in public security operations, although it is prohibited by the 1992 peace agreement″.

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