Closing of human rights bastion raises concerns
Multiple social organizations gathered on Oct. 5 in front of San Salvador’s Metropolitan Cathedral to protest the closure of Tutela Legal, an entity founded by the Archbishop in 1982 to investigate human rights violations during the armed conflict that occurred between 1980 and 1992 in the country.

In an official statement, the Archdiocese of San Salvador said: “It is natural for the Church to constantly reform and reorganize to provide the best service according to the social demands during each historical period. That said, as an Archdiocese of San Salvador, we officially communicate the dissolution of Guardianship office.”

Those outraged by the closure fear the fate of more than 50,000 files that the office has gathered since the 1980s, containing complaints of disappearances and murders.

“Tutela was our refuge, they worked on our cases and we thought we would always be in good hands,” said Ana Josefina Iraheta, a relative of a victim.

Benjamín Cuellar, director of the Human Rights Institute of the Universidad Centroamericana “Jose Simeon Cañas” (IDHUCA) said that “regardless of the reasons which led to the closure of Tutela Legal, the act must be viewed from the perspective of the victims who came forward to report; of the victims before, during and after the war, and those who continue to experience human rights violations.”