Parishioners and Salvadoran “romeristas” commemorated this Tuesday the 40th anniversary of the genocide of Saint Óscar Arnulfo Romero, murdered in 1980, in their homes due to the mandatory home quarantine that has been decreed in the country to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Every year, hundreds of Salvadorans carry out cultural and religious events to commemorate the “Saint Rosemary of America”, named after him even before his canonization in 2018. However, the current emergency situation forced them to look for alternatives to remember their martyr.
Many of the “romeristas” chose to place altars in their homes with photographs of the religious, killed by an armed squad on the right while celebrating mass, and candles that symbolize hope in the midst of the worldwide case caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The young Daniel Salazar, 24, told Efe that “the good side of this situation is that we are as a family, united in faith and remembered (Romero’s) messages that still have great impact.”
Salazar, in whose house an altar with the image of Rosemary, candles and flowers was appreciated, regretted that this year “there would be no procession of the lanterns and mass” in the Metropolitan Cathedral of San Salvador, but said that he is aware that they must be “take the necessary precautions in this situation”.
San Romero was assassinated at the gates of civil war by a far-right death squad in a chapel of a small hospital for cancer patients in San Salvador.
The only Salvadoran saint, known as “The voice of the voiceless”, spoke out against violence and human rights violations in the years leading up to the civil war, making him a benchmark in the defense of the more vulnerable.
COMMEMORATION IN SOCIAL NETWORKS
Social networks, mainly Facebook and Twitter, became transmission channels for activities organized by the Monseñor Romero Foundation and the Generación Romero group.
The organizers called on Romero’s followers to share photos and videos with photographs or objects alluding to the martyr; They also motivated the so-called “romeristas” to make “noise” on social networks with the hashtags #SiguiendolospasosdeSanRomero and #ConRomeroPorLaJusticiaSocial.
In addition, they asked that a candle be lit in each house as an act of “unity of the entire nation and as a commitment to keep the Romero spirit burning in our reality.”
CALLED TO END IMPUNITY
The Center for Justice and International Law (Cejil), the Association for Human Rights Legal Protection “Dra. María Julia Hernández”, the Foundation for Studies for the Application of Law (Fespad) and the Monsignor Romero Agreement demanded this day from the State that “guarantees the truth, justice, reparation and measures of non-repetition”.
“The organizations that accompany the case (of Romero) make a call for the State to take all necessary measures to end impunity for the murder of Monsignor Romero and to develop the investigation processes without further delay,” said the entities in a release.
Furthermore, they demanded that “there be no obstacle to the prosecution of those responsible, particularly before the approval of the National Reconciliation Law or the new reissue of the Amnesty Law.”
“On the 40th anniversary of his martyrdom and on the International Day of the Right to the Truth for Serious Violations, we urge the State of El Salvador to seriously investigate this case and punish the intellectual and material responsible, since it is necessary for El Salvador to obtain justice, “they added.