Judge re­opens mas­sacre in­ves­ti­ga­tion

Malta Independent - - WORLD -

A judge in El Sal­vador has re­opened an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the 1981 El Mo­zote mas­sacre - con­sid­ered one of the worst atroc­i­ties in the civil war.

The judge ac­cepted a re­quest put for­ward by three hu­man rights groups to re-open the case based on a Supreme Court rul­ing in July.

The rul­ing over­turned an amnesty for those who com­mit­ted war crimes dur­ing the 1980 to 1992 con­flict.

Some 75,000 peo­ple died in the civil war, with many of the vic­tims chil­dren.

The July Supreme Court rul­ing de­clared the amnesty law, which was ap­proved in 1993, un­con­sti­tu­tional.

The court or­der opened to way for hu­man rights vi­o­la­tions by the mil­i­tary and rebels dur­ing the civil war to be pros­e­cuted. Rights group said it meant the coun­try could fi­nally deal with its tragic past.

The killings in and around El Mo­zote - some 200km from the cap­i­tal, San Sal­vador - were part of a “sys­tem­atic plan of re­pres­sion” by the mil­i­tary dur­ing the civil war.

Be­tween 11 and 13 De­cem­ber, 1981, soldiers from a now-banned bat­tal­ion, the At­la­catl, shot dead res­i­dents of El Mo­zote sus­pected of sym­pa­this­ing with left-wing rebels.

Nearly half of the vic­tims were chil­dren.

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