Signature Campaign: Justice for Monsignor Oscar Romero and El Mozote



To the people of El Salvador and the peoples of the world, in relation to the murder of San Oscar A. Romero and the Massacre of El Mozote and places nearby, we the signatory individuals and organizations, EXPRESS:

Regarding the crime against humanity committed against Msgr. Romero:

  • We’re worried about 40 years of impunity. The death squad that executed him on March 24, 1980, as well as the intellectual authors and complicit perpetrators – military, civilians with economic, political and media power – have not been investigated, tried and sanctioned. After 40 years, Salvadoran justice continues to protect criminals, thus contravening national and international law; fully in breach of the international commitments made by the Salvadoran State regarding human rights. In particular, the State has not fully complied with the three recommendations of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), according to its report 37/00 (13-04-2000): to prosecute those responsible, to repair violations committed and to bring internal laws into line with the American Convention thereby ending the effects of the general amnesty law of 1993.
  • The criminal proceedings in this case are progressing slowly and halfheartedly. In May 2017, the IV Court of Instruction reopened the criminal proceedings against the sole defendant, for the time being, former Captain Alvaro Saravia, who is already under international order for capture. To this day, there is no capture or ruling. The judge then determined that the Attorney General’s Office should investigate and bring to justice new persons implicated in the crime. To this day, no one else has been charged in a court of justice. For the IACHR, at the working meeting on 30 September this year, after 40 years, this case should already be fully judicialized and therefore urged the State to submit in the coming months a plan and programme for the fulfillment of truth, justice, reparation and non-repetition in this case.
  • We recognize and follow Saint Romero’s legacy of justice. He represents for El Salvador and the world the need and exercise of a constant denunciation against every social-political system that generates exclusion, repression and violence against citizens and civil organizations that demand respect and validity of all their rights; which victimizes, for example, the struggle for dignity, justice, solidarity, respect for the environment, and produces victims: persecuted, killed, massacred; detained and disappeared or detained and tortured, detained and killed. In any people in the world, he also inspires the participation of all, especially the poor and victims, to form a new economic, social and political system on the basis of respect for the life, dignity and rights of all human beings; social justice, peoples’ self-determination, respect for the environment, social justice and national and international solidarity.


Regarding the criminal proceedings against those intellectually and  materially responsible and accomplices of the massacre in El Mozote and surrounding locations:

  • We recognize the persistence, courage and organization of victims in demanding their rights to truth, justice, reparation, and non-repetition measures, according to Salvadoran laws and international standards on transitional justice; also the competence, impartiality and determination of the Judge of Instruction in San Francisco Gotera that deals with this criminal process.
  • We denounce the blocking of the President of the Republic and the Minister of National Defence of the judicial order for inspection of the military archives. Under Salvadoran law, such actions may make up the commission of several offences on which the Attorney General’s Office of the Republic has already received notice, for example: arbitrary acts, non-compliance with duties, disobedience, and cover-up.
  • We note that the blockade of the inspection of military archives revictimizes all those affected by the massacre in El Mozote and surrounding sites. The unjustified and illegal denial affects the rights of victims to the truth, justice and reparation set forth in Articles 8.1 and 25, read in connection with 1.1, of the American Convention on Human Rights.

Therefore, WE DEMAND:

  • That the President of the Republic, Mr. Nayib Bukele, fully comply with the laws of the Republic and those relating to the international commitment of the Salvadoran State to human rights, in case of the murder of Saint Oscar Romero and the opening of the military archives to help determine the truth and justice regarding the El Mozote massacre and surrounding places.
  • That the Minister of National Defense, René Francis Merino Monroy, and others involved in the chain of command, submit to civilian power and national and international laws that the Salvadoran state has ratified concerning human rights; and therefore facilitate access to the military archives in connection with the massacre of El Mozote and surrounding places.
  • That the Attorney General of the Republic, Raúl Melara, fulfill his duty in terms of the crime against Saint Oscar A. Romero – investigation and indictment of those intellectually and directly responsible and the accomplice- and the warning of possible crimes committed by the President of the Republic and the Minister of National Dense, by preventing the inspection of the military archives in connection with the criminal process for the El Mozote massacre and surrounding places.