The Uncertain Future of Reparations in Post-Conflict El Salvador

Leonor Arteaga and Amanda Eisenhour*

  • Civil society has pushed the government of El Salvador to establish both symbolic and material reparations programs for war victims through executive decrees.
  • These programs, while crucial first steps, have been plagued since their inception with chronic underfunding, ineffective and splintered bureaucracy, and the exclusion of victims.
  • These programs could be at greater risk as the Bukele administration dissolves a key department implementing reparations, and the programs remain without legislative backing.

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On the anniversary of the murder of St. Oscar Romero, new possibilities for justice?

DPLF Team, with thanks to Ali Boyd for her assistance*

On March 24, 1980, Oscar Romero became the most emblematic casualty of the brutal civil war in El Salvador, which would go on to last twelve years. As the culmination of a deliberate state plot, he was shot and killed while celebrating mass. More than 75,000 civilian victims would come to share the fate of the Archbishop of San Salvador during the course of the war. Though the conflict was then in its infancy, Romero unequivocally denounced the violence, prophetically speaking directly to the death squads and to government officials during his weekly homily less than 24 hours before he was killed. The murder of the beloved Archbishop has galvanized the Salvadoran people for the last four decades. And with the canonization of Oscar Romero in October of 2018, the fight for justice at home – in the domestic court system – has once again captured the headlines. Sigue leyendo