Salvadorans Protest Legal Aid Closing

Social organizations in El Salvador demonstrated outside the Metropolitan Cathedral on Oct. 6 to demand that Archbishop José Escobar Alas clarify the fate of thousands of documents containing information on human rights violations. The documents have been in limbo since the archbishop’s decision on Sept. 30 to close Tutela Legal, the archdiocesan legal aid office, after he allegedly found cases of embezzlement and corruption. The archbishop did not offer any evidence of such offenses to the press. Tutela Legal investigated war crimes during the 1980-92 civil war in El Salvador. Protesters believe that it houses about 50,000 files containing evidence of war crimes. Protesters fear that the documents have been altered or lost, especially now that the Supreme Court is going to study whether the Amnesty Law, passed by Congress in 1993, is unconstitutional.

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