EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AMR 29/07/94
UA 205/94 Apparent Political Killing / Fear for Safety 27 May 1994
EL SALVADOR Members of the Movimiento Salvadoreño de Mujeres (MSM) -
Salvadorian Women's Movement
Alexander Rodas ABARCA, aged 18, reserve member of the Policia Nacional Civil
(PNC), National Civilian Police
On 19 May 1994 the offices of the women's organization MSM were reportedly
broken into, and the following day Alexander Rodas Abarca, a reserve member
of the National Civilian Police, was killed as he was guarding the MSM offices.
The identity of the attackers is not yet clear, but Amnesty International fears
that the break-in and killing may be a continuation of a campaign of intimidation
aimed at activists and supporters of opposition parties now extended to popular
MSM members have denounced that their offices, which they share with the
Fundación de Derechos Humanos Madeleine Lagadec, Human Rights Centre Madeleine
Lagadec, were broken into and ransacked by unidentified people who damaged
important documents. They dismiss burglary as the motive because although
some money was taken, valuable office equipment was not stolen.
PNC reserve member Alexander Rodas Abarca was also a member of the security
group for the Partido Revolucionario de los Trabajadores Centroamericanos
(PRTC), Revolutionary Party of Central American Workers, a faction of the former
armed opposition Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional (FMLN),
Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front. The PNC was set up under the terms
of the 1992 Peace Accords and many former FMLN members were integrated into
this new force.
Amnesty International understands that police investigations have been opened
into the two incidents, but the organization remains concerned for the safety
of members of the MSM.
On 19 May 1994 opposition politician Nidia Díaz, suffered a second attempt
on her life during which her bodyguard was injured. Nidia Díaz is a deputy
of the Legislative Assembly for the PRTC-FMLN and President of the Justice
and Human Rights Commission of the Legislative Assembly (see EXTRA 13/94, AMR
29/03/94, 28 February 1994 and follow-up AMR 29/06/94, 26 May 1994).
The former armed opposition group FMLN became a political party under the terms
of the 1992 Peace Accords which ended 12 years of bitter armed conflict. The
Accords included numerous human rights commitments and reforms; many of the
most important, including an enquiry into "death squads" and key judicial
reforms, have yet to be fully implemented.
Since the electoral campaign began in late 1993, many FMLN activists have been
targets of apparently political killings, death threats and attacks. Most cases
have not been properly investigated, but the pattern of incidents suggests
they are the work of forces linked to the government or ruling party. A
governmental commission known as the Grupo Conjunto (Joint Group) will report
in May 1994 on apparently political killings by "illegal armed groups" since