SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (CNS) — San Salvador Archbishop Jose Escobar Alas said church files on human rights violations committed during the civil war are available to help to find the truth and bring about justice in the killings of six Jesuit priests and two women, murdered in November 1989.
A Spanish court has reissued a request for the arrest warrants for 17 Salvadoran military officials and soldiers for their alleged involvement in the killing that shocked this Central American country and the international community.
“We will always be in favor of truth, of justice, in favor of the victims,” Archbishop Escobar said during a Jan. 10 news conference in which he said the files on war crimes investigated in the 1980s by the church’s legal aid office, Tutela Legal, are available for the public and investigators.
“We will be in favor (of clarifying war crimes) and collaborating in what we can collaborate,” he added.
During the 12 years of civil war, which ended in 1992, the lawyers and investigators of Tutela Legal were among the few who dared to investigate cases of torture, murder, and violations of human rights, many of them committed by the right-wing death squads.
Spain seeks the extradition of the military officials, because four of the six Jesuit killed were Spaniards.
On Jan. 5, Spanish Judge Eloy Velasco asked Interpol for the arrest warrants of the military officials, a copy of which was sent to the Salvadoran police. As of Jan. 11, the Salvadoran government had not said why police had not put them under arrest.
Velasco made a similar request in 2011, but Salvadoran authorities said those orders were only for finding the defendants’ location, not a detention. But an August constitutional court ruling said the orders seek not only the location but also the arrest of wanted persons; the ruling opened the way for Velasco to request the detention again.
Help keep Catholic media free, support CatholicPhilly.com
You may have noticed “pay walls” greeting you when you visit the websites of newspapers and magazines, both large and small. These mechanisms allow you to read a few articles for free before you’ve got to pay an annual fee if you want to see more.
You won’t find a pay wall on CatholicPhilly.com because we’re more than a news organization. We’re informing, inspiring and forming readers in the Catholic faith every day through the news, features and commentaries that we post on this site and share across social media.
It costs money to provide high-quality coverage of the local Catholic communities we primarily serve, while also distributing national and world news of interest to Catholics, plus the orthodox teachings of the Catholic faith.
Help us in this mission by making a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
or by credit card: