The President Of El Salvador Vetoes The Controversial And Rejected Reconciliation Law

The president of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, announced Friday that he vetoed the controversial law of national reconciliation that is rejected by the victims of the civil war (1980-1992), NGOs that support them and international organizations, and which is listed as an “amnesty in disguise.” The Special Law on Transitional Justice, Reparation and National Reconciliation was approved on Wednesday in an extraordinary plenary session and was endorsed by 44 deputies, of 58 present. Thirteen parliamentarians voted against and one abstained. “We veto it for unconstitutionality. The law has several very strong legal gaps, one of them is Article 67 which basically says it is an amnesty law,” the president said at a press conference. Article 67 states that “the judge may reduce to a quarter all the penalties to be imposed, after having heard the victims and if the person meets the following requirements: expressly acknowledge their degree of participation in a fact, ask for forgiveness , collaborate with the clarification of facts and help locate the whereabouts of victims. ” Bukele said the regulations are “a fraud, because it is not a transitional justice, reparation and national reconciliation law, it is a simple and flat amnesty law.” The new law does not contemplate prison sentences for those responsible and involved in war crimes or crimes against humanity, and leaves the door open for the commutation of sentences for reasons of illness and age, without specifying cases in which it will be applied. “It is a law as disgusting as the previous one (the one of amnesty of 1993), but they wanted to put a chocolate dragee and they gave it a nice name,” he said. The president stressed that the law “is not only unconstitutional, but violates various conventions of which El Salvador is signatory and also violates the fundamental rights of the victims and is a mockery and infamy of the Salvadoran people.” After the Bukele veto, the regulations will return to the Legislative Assembly so that a new vote is taken to overcome the veto, which requires the votes of 56 parliamentarians. In 2016, the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) annulled a 1993 amnesty law that prevented judging war crimes and ordered the Legislative body to create regulations that guarantee access to justice for victims. Between 1980 and 1992, the guerrilla group Frente Farabundo Martí for National Liberation (FMLN) faced the United States Army, financed by the United States, in a conflict that left 75,000 dead and 8,000 missing in 12 years.

                

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