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Further information on UA 385/93 (AMR 29/18/93, 1 November) - El Salvador: apparent political killings / fear for safety: Eleno Hernan Castro (note corrected spelling)

, Index number: AMR 29/020/1993

Presidento Alfredo Cristiani and other government officials have claimed that investigations into the case of Eleno Hernan Casto have been concluded, and had revealed that it was not a politically motivated killing. However the United Nations Observer Mission in El Salvador (ONUSAL) has confirmed that the investigation is still open, and that no conclusion can yet be drawn.

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AMR 29/20/93
Distr: UA/SC
1 December 1993
Further information on UA 385/93 (AMR 29/18/93, 1 November 1993) - Apparent
political killings / fear for safety
EL SALVADOR:Eleno* Hernán CASTRO, opposition politician
* NOTE CORRECT SPELLING
Recent statements made by President Alfredo Cristiani and other government
officials have indicated that the case of Eleno Hernán Castro, a leader of
the opposition Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional (FMLN),
Farabundo Martí Liberation Front, killed on 30 October 1993, has been resolved.
President Cristiani claimed that investigations had concluded and had revealed
that it was not a politically motivated killing.
However ONUSAL, the United Nations Observer Mission in El Salvador has confirmed
to Amnesty International that the judicial investigation is still open and
that no conclusion can yet be drawn about the motive for the killing; the only
valid witnesses to the crime were minors and no suspect has so far been detained.
In several recent cases of killings of opposition activists, the government
has suggested the crimes were not politically motivated and did not involve
government forces. However, few cases have been exhaustively investigated
and the pattern and circumstances of the killings indicate the possibility
of government forces operating clandestinely. Some of the killings bear the
characteristics of government "death squads" which have been so notorious in
the past.
There has been national and international pressure on the government to create
a commission of inquiry into the so-called "death squads", as recommended by
the Truth Commission, appointed last year by the United Nations to investigate
past human rights abuses in El Salvador. Official documents recently released
in the United States implicating senior Salvadorean government officials in
past "death squad" activity make the need for an inquiry all the more urgent.
The government has announced that such a commission will be created, with the
assistance of ONUSAL and the governmental Procurador Nacional para la Defensa
de los Derechos Humanos (National Counsel for the Defence of Human Rights).
However, its creation has reportedly been delayed due to disagreement as to
its composition.
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and
airmail letters either in Spanish, English or your own language:
- expressing concern that government statements imply that the Eleno Hernán
Castro case is resolved and that it has been established that the motive was
not political;
- saying that ONUSAL has confirmed that the case is still open, that a motive
for the killing cannot be determined and that no suspect has been arrested;
- calling for rigorous investigation into this case so that the truth is
clarified and those responsible are brought to justice;
- urging the authorities to proceed immediately with the commission of inquiry
into the "death squads", which should clarify all "death squad"-style killings
since the end of the war, bring to justice those responsible and dismantle
"death squad" structures; the commission should also undertake exhaustive
examination of all evidence which has come to light both during and since the
2
end of the war regarding the operation of "death squads" and their links to
state structures;
- stating that the eradication of "death squads" is necessary to ensure the
security of the Peace Accords and forthcoming elections and to guarantee human
rights in the future.
APPEALS TO:
President
Lic. Alfredo Cristiani
Presidente de la República de El Salvador
San Salvador, El Salvador
Telegrams: President Cristiani, San Salvador, El Salvador
Faxes: + 503 81 0018
Telexes: 20245 RS SAL or 20522 PRES SAL
Salutation: Su Excelencia/Your Excellency
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Dr. José Manuel Pacas Castro
Ministro de Relaciones Exteriores
Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores
Boulevard Manuel Enrique Araujo Km. 6
San Salvador, El Salvador
Telegrams: Ministro Relaciones Exteriores, San Salvador,
El Salvador
Faxes: + 503 98 0334/98 0314
Telexes: 20179 RREE SAL
Salutation: Sr. Ministro/Dear Minister
COPIES OF YOUR APPEALS TO:
National Counsel for the Defence of Human Rights
Dr. Carlos Molina Fonseca
Procurador para la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos
Procuraduría para la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos
9ª Avda. Norte y 5ª Calle Pte.
Edificio AMSA, Nº 535
San Salvador, El Salvador
Faxes: + 503 71 2886
Farabundo Martí Liberation Front
Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional (FMLN)
Secretaría de Derechos Humanos
calle Gabriela Mistral #209
San Salvador, El Salvador
Diario Latino
6ª Avda. Norte 325
San Salvador, El Salvador
Faxes: + 503 71 0971
and to diplomatic representatives of EL SALVADOR accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 13 January 1994.

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