Former Attorney General: Bukele favors war criminals and enhances military power
San Salvador, Jan 12 . .- The President of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, has taken a very traditional governmental position, similar to that of previous governments, of obstructing investigations of crimes against humanity committed in the civil war (1980- 1992), to favor and cover up those responsible for these events, former attorney David Morales told Efe. Morales, who headed the Office of the Attorney for the Defense of Human Rights (PDDH) (2013-2016), considered that Bukele “is strengthening military power,” which means a setback in human rights. The former prosecutor regretted that, for example, in the criminal case of the El Mozote massacre (1981), perpetrated by the Army, the president, also a commander of the Armed Forces, obstructs judicial processes such as the delivery of files related to said massacre. COVERING AND PROTECTING WAR CRIMINALS For Morales, it is obvious that after the armed conflict, all the high command (commanders) of the Armed Forces of El Salvador “have had a clear political position to cover up the serious human rights violations that members and senior officials they planned, they supervised, they promoted, they tolerated and they covered up “. However, the Bukele Executive had the opportunity to offer a generational change and to “change this situation”, but, instead, it has taken this position of favoring war criminals. “This Government had the opportunity to be the first Government that offered a generational change, because both the President and the Defense Minister (Rene Merino Monroy) were no longer direct actors in the war. However, they have taken that position, there is no legal justification for it, on the contrary they are violating international and national law, “he said. The former prosecutor pointed out that “the institutional reality in El Salvador is that of a civil power that has not ended up over military power. That is, a military power that continues to weigh heavily and that even at this moment is being promoted by President Bukele “. He regretted that the Legislative Assembly and the Prosecutor’s Office, which he classified as a passive entity in the investigation of war crimes, also join in with impunity and deny the victims justice, reparation and truth. “There is still an attitude of tolerance towards war criminals from the Prosecutor’s Office, in institutional terms, although a small team tries to make an effort without much support within the Prosecutor’s Office (…) this is the strongest state of impunity in the world. (American) continent, “he said. AN ELECTORAL POLITICAL EVENT IN EL MOZOTE Bukele arrived for the first time as president at the El Mozote village on December 17, 2020 and his agenda did not include a visit to the monument of the victims, located in the area of the massacre, but a speech by confrontation and attacks on human rights defenders, among these Morales. That day, Bukele accused the opposition Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN), the Human Rights Ombudsman, José Apolonio Tobar, and Morales of using the massacre for economic and political gain. “It was a presidential activity, I think, regrettable. It did not have any characteristic of an act of reparation for the victims, on the contrary, it was an act that constituted an offense, a revictimizing act for different reasons,” said the former attorney. The lawyer also pointed out that “the massacre affected many communities (at least five), in addition the populations, victims and relatives are not only found in the area, but in other parts of the country, therefore the act was not even representative for all the victims of the case, “he stressed. Morales regretted that Bukele dedicated himself to carrying out personal attacks against human rights defenders, against the institutionality of the PDDH, “I believe that with this he follows a trend, a narrative that has characterized him by attacks on journalists and defenders who in some way have denounced or revealed abuses of power on his part or by the Government, “he said. REPEAT AGAINST THE PEACE AGREEMENTS That day, Bukele also pointed out that the Peace Accords, which ended twelve years of war, are a “farce” as is the internal armed conflict. “It is also regrettable that, as in the governments of the 90s and 2000s, it has fallen into the denial of history, this time expressing that the war itself and the Peace Accords were a farce, this is also a speech false that it is important to demystify its content, “said Morales. The former prosecutor pointed out that “the Peace Accords gave a historical course, a profound change, at least, in the institutional framework of the State and stopped a twelve-year war, all changes from that moment and although we have an imperfect society, the agreements have such a historical dimension that they are on any president. ” “The Peace Accords have a historical dimension over any individual official and it is impossible for a single president, even, to sully the Peace Accords,” he said. He indicated that “what really tainted President Bukele in his speech was the history of the communities that had received him, these communities that suffered many massacres, forced disappearances, extralegal executions, bombings, suffered the war, went into exile and lived as refugees in the border area of Honduras. ” For Morales “it is now very clear that it is a very traditional government position, similar to that of previous governments of obstructing investigations, now retreating even further by aggravating the victims, by distorting the dialogue with the community for reparations, protecting criminals from war and attacking representatives of the victims. ” Sara Acosta .