El Salvador flagOn January 16, crowds gathered in the small community of El Mozote to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Peace Accords that ended El Salvador´s 12-year-long civil war. Rural El Mozote is the site of a 1981 massacre of more than 1,000 civilians and children, carried out by the Salvadoran Armed Forces.

At the solemn event, El Salvador’s first leftist president, Mauricio Funes, named the military officers implicated in the horrific massacre, stating, we must “remove the veil that has blinded us for three decades.”

Funes asked for forgiveness from the victims and the Salvadoran people on behalf of the State and then announced a series of reparations for the victims and their families.

In addition to physical and mental health services and an economic development plan for El Mozote, the government has promised to declare the community a protected historic site and has committed to updating public school curricula as well as police and military training materials to acknowledge the history of human rights violations by the armed forces.

(READ the story from the North American Congress on Latin America)

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