Yellow Book case study: María Teresa Hernández Saballos “H95”

YELLOW BOOK CASE STUDY: María Teresa Hernández Saballos “H95”

“We lament the disappearance of Dr. María Teresa Hernández Saballos which occurred on September 15th. Her nine year old son, Vladimir, wrote…Please, free her! In our country of such great suffering we even have to beg for freedom.”

– Archbishop Oscar Romero, October 14, 1979

María Teresa Hernandez SaballosMaría Teresa Hernández Saballos, Professor of Sociology at the University of El Salvador, was detained on the morning of September 15, 1979 at a highway checkpoint operated by the National Police and National Guard, and subsequently disappeared. Dr. Hernández Saballos was recognized for her commitment to using her academic and legal skills in the service of labor unions and the poor, and her disappearance gave rise to an extensive national and international campaign demanding her appearance. Family and colleagues published paid statements in national newspapers, Archbishop Oscar Romero denounced her disappearance in his homilies, and formal complaints were submitted to the Inter-American Human Rights Commission and the International Commission of Jurists. On December 9, 1979, the Inter-American Human Rights Commission reported the discovery of 26 bodies, one of which was tentatively identified on the basis of apparent age, sex, and time of death as belonging to Dr. Hernández Saballos.

María Teresa Hernández Saballos is listed in the Yellow Book on pages 135 and 144 as “H95,” identified as a “Political” supporter of the Popular Liberation Forces (FPL).

ListH95 PhotoH95


Paid ads demanding the release of María Teresa Hernández Saballos, placed by her mother Paula Saballos and the General Association of Salvadoran University Students (AGEUS)


Paid ad demanding the release of María Teresa Hernández Saballos, placed by Soccorro Jurídico