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Human rights groups warn of proposed amnesty in El Salvador

March 6, 2019 GMT

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) — Human rights defenders are warning that legislation being debated in El Salvador’s Legislative Assembly would establish an absolute amnesty for those who committed serious crimes during the country’s armed conflict in the 1980s and early 1990s.

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said Wednesday that if approved the legislation would give amnesty to people who committed war crimes and crimes against humanity. She said it would be a serious step back for El Salvador.

In July 2016, the constitutional arm of the Supreme Court declared a previous amnesty law unconstitutional. The court said nothing could interfere with arriving at the truth of what happened in crimes against humanity.

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Miguel Montenegro, director of El Salvador’s Human Rights Commission, said they could never support law that doesn’t benefit victims.