El Salvador’s President Apologizes to Indigenous Peoples

October 13, 2010

SAN SALVADOR – Salvadoran President Mauricio Funes apologized to the nation’s indigenous peoples for the harm they have suffered over the past five centuries.

“The government that I lead wishes to be the first government that in the name of the Salvadoran state … makes an act of contrition and begs the pardon of the indigenous communities for the persecution, for the extermination of which they were victims for so many years,” Funes said on the 518th anniversary of Columbus’ landing in the Americas.

“From this day forward we officially terminate our historical denial of the diversity of our peoples and acknowledge El Salvador to be a

El-Salvador-Indigenous 2

El Salvador – Casa Presidencial | EFE

multiethnic and multicultural society,” he said in inaugurating the First National Indigenous Congress.

Funes recalled episodes of national history such as the first uprising of native people in the country, which took place in 1832, as a result of the “reigning model of oppression.”

He recalled that the uprising was “suffocated by repression and force” and that 100 years later, in 1932, “history repeated itself” and the government at the time “gave the same brutal, violent response to the requests of the native communities,” killing more than 32,000 people.

Funes installed a congress that will seek “the necessary consensus among representatives of indigenous peoples to constitute a National Committee to formulate public policies for that segment of the population,” his office said in a communique.

“With the work of this congress I am sure that we are taking another step toward acknowledging their rights,” he said.

Funes, the first leftist president in Salvadoran history, has previously apologized for the assassination three decades ago of Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero and for the estimated 75,000 people killed in the country’s 1980-1992 civil war.

You may be interested

Of snow, kindness and Northern Lights: a Costa Rican in Manitoba, Canada
Please Send Coffee!
1286 views
Please Send Coffee!
1286 views

Of snow, kindness and Northern Lights: a Costa Rican in Manitoba, Canada

Gustavo Díaz Cruz - December 14, 2017

My mom named me Gustavo Adolfo. I was born in Puntarenas, next to the sea, but my home was in…

Response to disaster: aid successes, struggles in post-Maria Puerto Rico
Weather
1217 views
Weather
1217 views

Response to disaster: aid successes, struggles in post-Maria Puerto Rico

John McPhaul - December 13, 2017

As Costa Rica joins many other nations in looking back upon the horrendous 2017 hurricane season, longtime Tico Times contributor…

Looking back at Hurricane Maria: the initial impact
Weather
2079 views
Weather
2079 views

Looking back at Hurricane Maria: the initial impact

John McPhaul - December 12, 2017

As Costa Rica joins many other nations in looking back upon the devastating 2017 hurricane season, longtime Tico Times contributor…