BY ISN STAFF | March 3, 2016
SAN SALVADOR, EL SALVADOR – The Jesuit university in El Salvador, Universidad Centroamericana “José Simeón Cañas” (UCA), released a statement on March 2 responding to the news that arrest warrants have been issued for the former Salvadoran military officials tied to the 1989 murder of six Jesuit priests and two laywomen at the UCA.
“To know what really happened in this, and in other cases, will be good for El Salvador,” said the statement in its closing paragraph, referencing the case in Spanish court that seeks the extradition of El Salvadoran military officials involved in the 1989 murders. The statement also noted that the Jesuits and the UCA have always been willing to forgive those who planned and executed the murders, but that the Salvador “justice system has yet to uncover the whole truth and to determine responsibility, so that forgiveness can be offered.”
The New York Times reported on February 6 that Salvadoran police began to arrest former military officers who are accused in the murders of Ignacio Ellacuría, S.J., Ignacio Martín-Baró, S.J., Segundo Montes, S.J., Juan Ramón Moreno, S.J., Joaquín López y López, S.J., Amando López, S.J., their housekeeper Elba Ramos, and her 15 year-old daughter Celina Ramos. The arrests were in response to extradition requests from Spanish National Court Judge Eloy Velasco who recently reissued a request for international arrest warrants for more than a dozen former Salvadoran military officials, including members of the military High Command. Legislation protecting Salvadoran military from being tried for human rights abuses forced the families of the victims and human rights groups seeking justice to take their case to Spain, where a law of universal jurisdiction allows prosecutions for some crimes committed outside the country. Five of the six Jesuits were Spanish.
The full statement translated into English can be found below. A version in Spanish is available on the UCA website, where it was originally published.