Bukele first arrived as president in El Mozote village on 17th December 2020, where he delivered a speech about confrontation and attacks on human rights defenders, among them Morales. Here’s what he said in an interview with EFE.
President of El Salvador, Here to watchHe took a very traditional governmental position, similar to previous governments, of obstructing investigations into crimes against humanity committed in the Civil War (1980-1992), and favoring and concealing those responsible for these events, he said. Former attorney David Morales.
Morales, who headed the Office for the Defense of Human Rights (2013-2016), said Buckily was “enhancing military might,” which means a setback for human rights.
The former attorney general expressed regret that, for example, in the criminal case of the El Mozote massacre (1981) committed by the military, the President, who is also the commander of the armed forces, obstructed judicial procedures such as handing over files related to the massacre in question.
Cover up and protect war criminals
For Morales, it is clear that after the armed conflict, all the top commanders (commanders) of the armed forces in El Salvador had “a clear political stance to cover up the massive human rights violations that the members and senior officials had planned, supervised and promoted. They endured and covered.”
Bukele’s executive branch, however, had the opportunity to introduce a generational change and “change that status” but, instead, took this position in favor of war criminals.
This government has had the opportunity to be the first to introduce a generational change, because the President and Minister of Defense (René Merino Monroy) are no longer direct actors in the war. But they have taken this position, and there is no legal justification for it. On the contrary, they violate international and national law. “
The former attorney general noted that “the institutional reality in El Salvador is a civilian authority that has not yet completed control of the military force. In other words, a military force that continues to have great influence and which is being promoted even at this moment by President Buckley.”
He regretted that the Legislative Assembly and the Prosecutor’s Office, which had classified them as passive entities in investigating war crimes, were also cooperating with impunity and denying victims justice, reparation and truth.
“There is still an attitude of tolerance towards war criminals from the OTP, institutionally speaking, although a small team is trying to make an effort without much support within the Office of the Prosecutor (…) This is the strongest case of impunity on the continent ( American) “, he said.
Electoral political event in Almuzot
Bukele arrived for the first time as head of El Mozote village on December 17, 2020, and his agenda did not include visiting the memorial of victims located in the area of the massacre, but rather a speech of confrontation and assault on human rights defenders. Humans, among these are Morales.
On that day, opposition Bockelli accused the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN), human rights ombudsman, José Apollonio Tobar, and Morales of using the massacre for economic and political gain.
It was presidential activity, I think, unfortunate. The former lawyer said that he did not have any characteristic of the work of the reparative state for victims. On the contrary, it was an act that constituted a crime, which was an act of re-harming for various reasons.
The lawyer also pointed out that “the massacre affected many societies (at least five), in addition to the fact that the residents, victims and relatives are not only in the region, but in other parts of the country, and therefore the act did not represent even all the victims of the case.”
Morales expressed his regret that Buckley was involved in personal attacks against human rights defenders, against the PDDH founders, “I think he is thus following a trend, which is the narrative that has characterized him with attacks on journalists and defenders who have somehow denounced or exposed abuses of power on their part or from Government side. “
Attacking peace agreements
On that day, Buckley also noted that the peace accords, which ended twelve years of war, are “a farce” as they are in an internal armed conflict.
It is also regrettable that, as happened in the governments of the 1990s and first decade of the twenty-first century, he fell into denial of history, and on this occasion expressing that the war itself and the peace agreements were a farce, and this is also a speech that Morales erroneously expressed that it is important to demystify its content “.
The former Attorney General pointed out that “the peace agreements gave a historical path and a profound change, at least in the institutional framework of the state, and stopped a war that lasted twelve years, all of which have changed since that moment, and although we have an imperfect society, the agreements have such a dimension.” Historic that they are on any president ”.
He said that “peace agreements have a historical dimension for any individual official, and it is impossible for a single president even to stain peace agreements.”
He pointed out that “what really distorted President Buckley in his speech was the history of the societies that received him, those societies that had suffered many massacres, enforced disappearances, extrajudicial executions, bombings, suffered war, were exiled and lived. As refugees in the Honduran border area.”
For Morales, “It has now become clear that it is a very traditional government position, similar to that of previous governments to obstruct investigations, and now back down further by exacerbating victims, distorting dialogue with society for reparations, protecting criminals from war and attacking victims’ representatives.”