Salvadorans Remember Civil War Victims

November 5, 2004

SAN SALVADOR (EFE) – Civicgroups marked Tuesday’s observance ofthe Day of the Dead by paying tribute tothe thousands of people killed during ElSalvador’s civil war (1980-1992) at amonument erected in this capital.In Cuscatlán Park, next to a large wallthat bears the names of some 25,000 peoplekilled during the war, scores of Salvadoransgathered to remember their lovedones and lay flowers at the symbolic tomb.Some women carried photographs ofchildren who were among the more than8,000 people who disappeared during the12-year conflict, which left more than75,000 people dead and 12,000 otherswounded.AN outdoor mass was celebrated inmemory of the victims. A photograph ofSan Salvador Archbishop Oscar Romero,who was killed in his church by a rightistdeath squad in 1980, stood prominentlyon the makeshift altar.After a brief homily, the Catholicpriest opened the microphone to anyonewishing to say a few words.The first to speak was an elderlywoman whose son, Presentación de JesusHenriquez, disappeared in 1980.“I’ve searched for you ceaselessly andyou’ve stayed in my heart. I don’t knowhow those wretches tortured you, but untilthe end of my days I won’t give up hope offinding out where you are,” she said.MARÍA Julia Hernández, head of theSan Salvador archdiocese’s legal affairsoffice, said the ceremony “is a time ofhistoric remembering, a space to commemorateour dead, whom we have notknown where to bury, and it’s a momentto demand justice.”Jesuit priest Jon Cortina calledTuesday’s event “a tribute to the truth,”and noted that it was civil society, notthe government, that erected the monument.

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