Committee of Family Members of Political Prisoners, September 20 2007

September 20



The stubborn, arbitrary and unjust attitude of the government of the Salvadoran State, against our family members captured last July 2nd in Suchitoto. 

President Elias Antonio Saca and his Attorney General, upon their inability to prove in the 3 months that the Special Tribunal gave them, the alleged acts of terrorism and injury for which they captured, tortured and tried our family members, because the accusations are false, has asked the Special Judge appointed by the President, Ana Lucila Fuentes de Paz to approve a six month extensionto the special court, arguing essentially that: a) they have given orders to ANDA, FISDL and the General Director of Protocol and Orders from the Ministry of Foreign Relations, to see if their functionaries were invited to (Suchitoto) and if their lives were in danger, and they have of yet received no response, and b) due to the complexity of the events and the quantity of people that they must interview, and they haven’t done it yet. To summarize, they do not have proof to sustain their accusations and for this reason they are asking for a 6 month extension. 

The Judge chosen by the President, Ana Lucila Fuentes de Paz, in record time, has decided to support the request of the Attorney General’s Office, arguing that: a) it is a serious and complex crime, and b) that they have made the request within the timeframe established by the law and with sufficient arguments, and Judge Fuentes therefore asks the Special Court to concede SIX MORE MONTHS of extension so that the Attorney General may continue to investigate the case.

Formally, the Judges of the Special Court appointed by the President’s Office, Sandra Chicas and Gloria Lizama, must rule on the request for an extension, or grant a lesser extension. 

In any case, our family members must continue to present themselves at the Special Tribunal every 2 weeks to sign in, they cannot leave the country or change their residence, creating an unjust state of alarm that exhausts all of the accused and their families. 

The Supreme Court, instead of fulfilling its constitutional obligation of administering justice, in the case of the Habeas Corpus request filed in favor of those arrested in Suchitoto, and the appeals process of unconstitutionality filed against the Special Law against Acts of Terrorism and Law Against Organized Crime, laws created to reduce social and popular protest, MAINTAINS SILENCE AND COMPLICITY. In response to the request from our Committee, Dr. Agustin García Calderón, President of the Supreme Court has responded that if we so desire we are free to go and talk with an administrative employee of the Supreme Court, who maintains an office in the basement of the building, and in this way Dr. García Calderón evades his responsibility of responding to the Salvadoran citizens when their most elemental human and civil rights are being violated.


That the Diplomatic Corps accredited in our Country, the social, communal and labor organizations, academic, professional and religious as well as national and international institutions that defend respect for human rights, act immediately, contacting the Judges of the Special Court, Licenciadas Sandra Chicas and Gloria Lizama, asking them to STOP the arbitrary and unjust repression against those captured in Suchitoto, by denying the extension maliciously requested by the Attorney General.

Likewise, we ask them to demand that the Supreme Court ends the silence and complicity with which it has acted up until now.

The Special Court receives phone calls at the Telephones: 2264-1180 and 2264-1181 and the Fax #2264-1191




San Salvador, September 20th, 2007.






Prosecution Requests Extension, Journalist Assassinated - September 24, 2007

September 24, 2007:

The Suchitoto 13 have continued to organize for freedom and economic justice despite the ongoing case against them.  Still charged with Acts of Terrorism and Injuries, and facing up to 60 years in jail, Lorena, Rosa, Haydeé, Manuel, and the rest of the accused have been continuing their work, as well as making sure to comply with the terms of their provisional liberty, including showing up at the Special Tribunal every 2 weeks.

Following the original decree of 3 months preventative detention, Judge Ana Lucila Fuentes de Paz had set a September 28th deadline for the prosecution to present its evidence.  After this September 28th date, Judge Fuentes de Paz would then set a court date within the following 30 days.

The Prosecution Requests an Extension:

Just this week, we have received news that the Attorney General’s Office, through Judge Fuentes de Paz has solicited a 6 month extension for the deadline to present evidence, which would effectively move the projected court date well into next year.  The prosecution cites the complexity of the case, saying that it has solicited information from various public institutions and has yet to carry out a quantity of interviews.  Judge Fuentes has accepted the request for an extension, and now formally the Judges of the Special Tribunal, Lic. Sandra Chicas and Lic. Gloria Lizama, must rule on the request or grant a lesser extension.

CRIPDES, the MPR-12 and the Committee of Family Members of Political Prisoners, along with the accused themselves, coincide in concluding that this request for an extension is a clear indicator that the prosecution has thus far been unable to collect substantial evidence against the defendants, and a sign of the political intentions behind the case, obliging the defendants to continue to carry out the terms of their provisional liberty, and live with the fear of a steep jail sentence.

Upon the news of the extension request, CRIPDES, the MPR-12 and the Committee of Family Members of Political Prisoners began a demonstration and a fast for 48 hours in front of the Legislative Assembly and Supreme Court buildings.  The defense lawyers are still waiting for the Supreme Court to rule on a motion of Habeas Corpus as well as an appeal to declare unconstitutional the Special Law Against Acts of Terrorism, and the Law against Organized Crime.  Dr. Agustín García Calderón, the President of the Supreme Court, declined to meet with the fasters.

Journalist Assassinated:

The morning of September 20th, as he was leaving his home the journalist Salvador Sánchez was brutally assassinated.  Sánchez worked as a reporter for Mayavision Radio, the YSUCA Radio and the Radio Cadena “Mi Gente”.

Salvador Sánchez  had been one of the journalists that had given the most direct and honest coverage of the events leading up to and following the arrest of the Suchitoto 13, and had been in direct contact with leaders from CRIPDES and the Committee of Family Members of Political Prisoners.  Officials have alluded to personal enemies and delinquency as the possible explanations of Sanchez’s assassination, though the Director of the Natinal Civilian Police Force (PNC) also said Sanchez had received death threats.  Social movement leaders are worried that political motives may hide behind the high levels of crime and violence prevalent in Salvadoran society.  In an official statement the MPR-12 maintains that they “do not discard the idea that the recent [assassination] may be linked to the journalistic work… that Salvador Sánchez carried out.”  Salvadoran organizations are demanding that the Attorney General and the National Civilian Police force (PNC) carry out an in depth investigation into the killing of Salvador Sánchez




To read the corresponding statement from the Committee of Family Members of Political Prisoners in El Salvador, click here.

To read the corresponding statement from the Popular Resistance Movement, October 12th, MPR-12, click here.


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