San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Salvadoran finds mother 32 years after war

SAN SALVADOR – A woman from El Salvador was reunited with her mother Wednesday, 32 years after the pair separated when they fled a massacre by army troops, officials said.

Rosa Miriam, 41, met her mother, María Sibrian, and her siblings in the town of Santa Emilia, southwest of San Salvador, the government office in charge of connecting people separated during the country’s 1979-1992 civil war said.

“Given the psychosocial situation,” government social workers have “begun a process of individual attention with mother, brothers and Rosa Miriam, to attempt to overcome the trauma that comes from suffering an event of this nature,” the office known as CNB said in a statement.

In May 1980, Miriam was living in a rural village on the banks of the Sumpul River, in the Chalatenango department on the border with Honduras, with her parents and four siblings. She was 9 years old.

According to the CNB, soldiers hunting down leftist guerrillas struck the village, slaughtering civilians. In a two-day operation the soldiers killed 300 people of all ages as they tried to flee across the river into Honduras.

Miriam and her family escaped, but when they returned soon after the massacre they came across a group of soldiers on patrol who murdered her father.

Sibrian fled with her five children, but three of them, including Miriam, were separated in the frantic race for safety.

When the war ended in 1992, Sibrian was able to locate two of the children with help from a humanitarian group.

Another family found Miriam and adopted her. It was not until August 2012 that she contacted the CNB in an attempt to locate her biological family.

Miriam’s siblings were found in early October, the CNB said in a statement.

Over the last year, the CNB has resolved 12 cases of children who went missing during the war, but is still looking for the relatives of about another 100 people.

El Salvador’s civil war pitted leftist guerrillas of the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) against the country’s U.S.-supported right-wing government.

More than 75,000 people were killed in the war and 7,000 went missing.

The FMLN demobilized after the peace accord that ended the war and became a political party. The current president, Mauricio Funes, is a member of the leftist party.

Comments are closed.