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Interviews with war survivors in the communities of Arcatao and San Antonio Los Ranchos in the department of Chalatenango, El Salvador, were conducted during 2013-2014 by students and staff of IDHUCA and UWCHR, with the collaboration of the Historical Memory Committee of Arcatao. Free, prior, and informed consent was sought from all participants before conducting interviews, and all testimony excerpts included in the archive were individually approved for publication by the participants. All interviews were conducted with the support of psychologists trained in community-based approaches to trauma and healing. Some names have been changed and images have been obscured at the request of the participants for their privacy and security.

Due to the nature of the experiences discussed in the testimonies, some users may find the contents of the archive disturbing: topics include violence, rape, torture, death, and severe hardship. On the other hand, the archive also features narratives of resilience, survival, and mutual assistance in triumphing over adversity.

The Unfinished Sentences Testimony Archive is a project of the Human Rights Institute of the "José Simeon Cañas" Central American University in San Salvador, El Salvador, and the University of Washington Center for Human Rights in Seattle, Washington, USA:

The Human Rights Institute of the "José Simeon Cañas" Central American University (IDHUCA), based in San Salvador, El Salvador, contributes to the achievement of justice and respect for human rights of the Salvadoran people, promotes citizen participation and supports strengthening institutions.


The University of Washington Center for Human Rights, based in Seattle, Washington, USA, is committed to interdisciplinary excellence in the education of undergraduate and graduate students in the field of human rights; promoting human rights as a core area of faculty and graduate research; and engaging productively with local, regional, national, and international organizations and policymakers to advance respect for human rights.


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.