WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas
18 Jul 2016 | News

El Salvador’s 1993 Amnesty Law Overturned

Historic Decision is Major Victory for Human Rights

Yesterday El Salvador’s Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court ruled 4-1 that the 1993 Amnesty Law that prevented prosecution of crimes committed during the civil war was unconstitutional, and in violation of international law. The court found that amnesty could not be extended in cases of crimes against humanity.

In practice, this means that major human rights abuses from the era of El Salvador’s civil war—such as the Jesuit case, the El Mozote massacre, and others—can be investigated and prosecuted.

This will be a politically controversial decision in El Salvador, but it is a major victory for human rights.

The burden will now be on the attorney general of El Salvador and the country’s judicial system to investigate and prosecute these major cases.

For press inquiries, please contact: 

Kristel Muciño
WOLA Director of Communications
+1 (202) 797-2171