1. A breach of impunity : the trial for the murder of Jesuits in El Salvador : report of the observer of the International Commission of Jurists 
- Book — 81 p.
"A Breach of Impunity" is an account of one of the most consequential trials in recent history and one which has lasting implications for the establishment of human rights in El Salvador. It is an account of the trial of the nine members of the El Salvadoran military accused of the assassination of six Jesuit priests, their cook, and her 15-year-old daughter at the Central American University in San Salvador, November 16, 1989. Although the Jesuits are not the first religious victims of the Salvadoran Civil War, which has claimed the lives of 75,000, the assassinations have touched off world-wide concern over the issue of the government's response to military terrorism. "A Breach of Impunity" is the report by the observer for the International Commission of Jurists' Legal Officer for Latin America, Dr. Alejandro Artucio. The first section of the report covers the political and social context in which the trial was held, profiles both the individual victims and the accused, and provides a summary of the events leading up to and shaping the assassinations. The second part of the report covers the indictment, public hearing, and Judge Samora's verdict of January 24, 1992. The public trial was held from September 26 to September 29, 1991 in San Salvador. At its conclusion, Colonel Benavides Moreno and Lieutenant Mendoza Vallecillos were found guilty of murder and condemned to 30 years in prison, the maximum allowable sentence. The seven other defendants were acquitted of the murder charge; all nine were acquitted on charges of terrorism. The report closes with an assessment of the trial and its verdict, which the Commission does not hesitate to judge as "arbitrary" and "surprising", pointing out the extensive confessions of all nine accused. The report targets the narrow investigation of the crimes, and deviation from the norm of criminal procedure as contributing to an unjust final verdict. The only positive conclusion to be drawn from the trial is that accountability for military terrorism, and obtaining even two convictions, represent positive steps toward ending the flagrant abuse of power which has hereto gone unchecked. It represents, in the Commission's judgement, the creation of a breach in "the massive wall of impunity" which has constituted El Salvador's position of disregard for human rights.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)