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Salvadorans remember crime of Dutch journalists

San Salvador, Mar 17 (Prensa Latina) Forty-two years after the murder of four Dutch journalists by military forces in El Salvador, the perpetrators enjoy impunity, human rights organizations have denounced.

A communiqué from the Comunicandonos Foundation and the Salvadoran Association for Human Rights (Asdehu) calls once again for justice for Koos Koster, Jan Kuiper, Joop Willemsen and Hans ter Laag, the victims of the ambush prepared by the military, for their eagerness to report and seek the truth.

It was a planned and deliberate act of extreme violence by soldiers of the Atonal Battalion of the Armed Forces that not only shocked the people of El Salvador, the Netherlands and the international community, but also left an indelible mark on the struggle for justice and freedom of expression around the world, the text points out.

The signatories of the communiqué emphasize “our commitment to continue fighting for freedom of expression and the press, the protection of journalists and the end of impunity for the victims of the armed conflict in El Salvador,” on this day that will be remembered this Sunday at a mass in the crypt of Monsignor Romero, in the Metropolitan Cathedra.

Both organizations stress the importance of remembering that truth and justice were not yet achieved in this crime against humanity, as well as in all cases of serious human rights violations committed during the Salvadoran armed conflict, including the El Mozote massacre.

Since March 13, 2018, Asdehu and the Comunicándonos Foundation, on behalf of the relatives of the journalists and with the support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Costa Rica for Central America, we have waged a judicial battle that we will not give up until we obtain the longed-for truth and justice, the statement asserts.

As a result of this work, the judge in the case ordered the provisional arrest of the former Minister of Defense, General Jose Guillermo Garcia and the former director of the Treasury Police, Colonel Francisco Antonio Moran, on October 15, 2022, for their alleged involvement in the planning of such crime against humanity.

The defense lawyers of the officers requested their release from prison, but were denied on two occasions.

The judge also ordered the provisional arrest of Colonel Mario Adalberto Reyes Mena, the main accused in the crime against the journalists, against whom there is an Interpol red notice for his capture in the United States, according to the report.

However, the struggle continues so that “the truth is not silenced by violence and censorship. Yesterday’s impunity is today’s impunity’, the issuers of the communiqué point out.