Impunity for human rights violations committed during the armed conflict (1980-1992) persisted. A crisis gripped the judicial system as members of congress were accused of attempting to interfere in the selection and appointment of judges. Violations of sexual and reproductive rights remained a concern.
Violent crime continued to dominate the political agenda, although the government reported an overall fall in the murder rate.Top of page
Impunity for past human rights violations continued to be a concern.
Abortion in all circumstances remained a criminal offence.
At a hearing in a US court in September, Inocente Orlando Montano, former Salvadoran Vice-Minister for Public Security and a former military commander, faced charges of lying to the US immigration authorities in order to stay in the USA. If found guilty, this could pave the way for Inocente Orlando Montano’s extradition to Spain to face charges for his alleged role in the killing of six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her 16-year-old daughter in 1989 in El Salvador.Top of page
In April, members of Congress made statements apparently indicating that the rules governing the appointment of judges would be bypassed, particularly in relation to two members of the Constitutional section of the Supreme Court. Concerns were raised that the attempts to bypass the appointments procedure would facilitate the appointment of judges on the basis of their political affiliation rather than their professional capabilities. In November, the UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers visited the country to assess the situation. At the end of her visit she reminded the authorities of the state’s obligations to respect the independence of the judiciary and to refrain from any interference in the judiciary. She also recommended a review of the appointments procedure. No such review had been carried out by the end of the year.Top of page