• Al Jazeera

International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances - El Salvador

August 30, 2022

[Image Source: Rodrigo Sura/EPA-EFE]

Cited article by Belén Fernández, Al Jazeera


HRRC commemorates the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances. Additionally, we call on El Salvador to take further steps to recognize and investigate its history of missing persons, and in the process allow the families of those missing to grieve and find closure.


Article Summary


The International Commission on Missing Persons in the Hague estimates that approximately 9,000 people disappeared in El Salvador during the Salvadorian civil war from 1979 to 1992. Atrocities during the war were carried out by a right-wing military backed by the United States, and death squads killed another 75,000 people. The UN adopted the Declaration on the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance in 1992, and in 2010 the UN declared August 30th as the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances.


It wasn't until 2017 that El Salvador began a commission to search for those that went missing, and thus far has had little success. Civilian groups demanding information often have been ignored, experiencing indifference and abuse by the El Salvadorian government. Similar to other countries with histories of unsolved disappearances, like Lebanon and Argentina, the families of the missing have difficulty finding closure not knowing what happened to their loved ones. Even if the answer comes in the form of a mass grave, it allows closure and a pathway for grieving.