The armed conflict in El Salvador lasted from 1980 – 1992, claiming the lives of at least 75,000 civilians. This brutal conflict, the result of deep civil unrest within the country, was fueled by many international forces, including the United States government. An amnesty law secured peace in 1993. However, it blocked prosecution of the many war crimes committed on both sides of this complex conflict.
Today many Salvadorans are still searching for information about the fate of loved ones lost during the war, seeking to recover their remains for reburial, or striving to honor their memory without fear of reprisals or recrimination. For years, these efforts have been ignored by the institutions of justice. As human beings, we cannot learn from our history until we confront the consequences it wrought — It’s time, now, for all of us to contribute to addressing human rights in the wake of this human tragedy.
Unfinished Sentences is an initiative of the University of Washington Center for Human Rights to encourage public participation in support of human rights in El Salvador. Through this effort, we aim to document and share the stories of survivors of crimes against humanity committed in the context of El Salvador's armed conflict, and to support Salvadoran efforts for truth and accountability.