El Salvador up in Arms over Decree 743 requiring unanimous votes by Supreme Constitutional Court   2 comments

I’m not going to repeat the entire story, others have done a fine job explaining the situation, and reasons postulated for why Mauricio Funes appears to have LOST HIS MIND regarding his behavior in signing Decree 743 into law a little over a week ago.

Two articles present good background and detail:

Luterano blogspot: broad-opposition-to-decree-743.html

Voiceselsalvador: salvadorans-protest-the-governments-actions-against-constitutional-court

Mauricio Funes approved a bill which was crafted by the Salvadoran Legislative Assembly, primarily by the Arena party and its allies, which requires a “unanimous vote” by the Supreme Constitutional Court  to make decisions about the constitutionality of laws.

The entire county is in an uproar and people were even protesting in the streets last week.

So after all the public reaction, the Arena party is now BACKPEDALLING, weasels that they are.  And Funes, now that he’s completley pissed off the Left and insists upon making jabs at the Right, is making himself an enemy of everyone.

Funes placed a a full-page ad in the papers justifying why he signed Decree 743 into law.  Here is one excerpt, in Spanish (see full article here at La Pagina)

Por su parte, constituye una injerencia inaceptable en la acción del Organo Judicial la confesión pública realizada por el partido ARENA, que ahora solicita la derogación del Decreto 743 y para ellos se fundamenta en lo que parece un acuerdo alcanzado con la Sala de lo Constitucional y, según el cual, ARENA expresa contar con “evidentes demostraciones” de que la Sala no declarara inconstitucional la Ley de Amnistiá.  En efecto, según el comunicado hecho publico este juees por las mas altas autoridades del partido ARENA, miembros de esa Sala se habrían comprometido no solo a no declarar inconstitucional dicha laye, sino también “a defenderla”.

My best translation is as follows (apologies for the super long run-on sentence, blame Funes for that):

“ARENA has created an unacceptable interference in the actions of the Judicial Organ with the public confession it made, and who now solicit the repeal of Decree 743 and for them it’s based on what appears to be an agreement achieved with the Constitutional Court, which according to the announcement, ARENA is counting on ‘evident demonstrations’ that the court will not declare the Amnesty Law unconstitutional.  In effect, according to the communication made public this Thursday by the highest authorities of ARENA, members of the Court have committed not only to not declare that law unconstitutional, but also to ‘defend it’.   ”

The Amnesty Law, or Ley de Amnistiá,  protects members of both the former government militia and the guerrilla/resistance fighters of being prosecuted for war crimes.   Although I believe it is a shame for people not be prosecuted for executing massacres, it is recognized that both sides of the civil war committed atrocities.  If everyone were brought to justice, you would have utter chaos in El Salvador, and it could bring the country to the brink of war once again, as it is already very unstable due with constant violent crime, corruption, narcotrafficking inroads, and its people weary and frustrated living with a 30% or higher poverty rate.

As for Funes’ behavior, I can’t figure it out.  On the one hand he bitches about ARENA committing ‘sabatoge’ in vandalizing ANDA main water pipes recently, and here he swiftly sanctions a piece of legislation they crafted which ties the judge’s hands behind their backs.

2 responses to “El Salvador up in Arms over Decree 743 requiring unanimous votes by Supreme Constitutional Court

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  1. Thanks for your post about Decree 743. I also have a blog on WordPress about many things, including El Salvador. I have been writing about multiple aspects of the Jesuits murders, including Decree 743. I am working on an additional post on the Decree, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the case in Spain.


    P.S. you should consider adding the “print” and “email” sharing buttons on your blog.

    • DWK, I will check out your blog. Bringing those who committed war crimes to justice should happen. I believe one day it will happen, and many people in El Salvador would like to see it, but even the FMLN reversed its position during the campaign for Maucricio Fune’s presidency ( http://luterano.blogspot.com/2008/09/fmln-reverses-position-on-amnesty-law.html ). This may have been for purely political reasons, but in some part for fear of getting their own dirt dug up. The UN Truth Commission determined that only 5% of the complaints of political violence stemming from the FMLN, so it’s not a lot, but I think what people may fear more are the potential effects and major unrest that bringing war crimes from both sides of the war to justice could cause.

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