Social Issues

Salvadorans press gov’t for action on missing loved ones

San Salvador, Jan 24 (EFE).- Family members and human rights activists presented the Salvadoran Attorney General’s Office on Tuesday with photographs of 43 missing persons, including cases that date back more than a decade.

The photo album, which includes text with pertinent information on the victims, was assembled by the Missing Persons Search Bloc, Henri Fino, an attorney with the Application of the Law Studies Foundation (Fespad), said.

Forced disapperance “continues striking Salvadoran families,” the lawyer told reporters.

“On this occasion we have come to the AG Office to deliver the album to demand of the attorney general (Rodolfo Delgado) that he does what is supposed to do under the constitution and the law, which is to investigate,” Fino said.

Silvia Montalban, whose son disappeared in March 2015 at the age of 16, tells EFE that neither the police nor prosecutors have been of any help.

“He was taken from me in an absurd, crude way,” she says. “Today I live with the absence of his presence. I live because I walk, because I breathe. But really my life ended there.”

“I need closure, let them give me the bones, let them tell me ‘here he is,'” she says.

“The land of El Salvador should not be full of missing persons, of youths – because the majority are youths – buried, disappeared, hidden clandestine graves,” Montalban says.

Fespad said that the disappearances documented in the photo album range in time from 2007 to last year.

At least 577 people went missing due to “social violence” in the first five months of 2022, according to a tally kept by a Salvadoran human rights group.

The Inter-American Human Rights Commission urged El Salvador in 2021 to take steps to prevent forced disappearance.

The Central American nation is now in the 10th month of a state of emergency, enacted by right-wing President Nayib Bukele and his allies in congress for the ostensible purpose of battling gangs.

EFE sa-rs/dr

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