Pro-búsqueda Association facilities after three unidentified armed men broke in and set fire to the archives in San Salvador, El Salvador. Photo Courtesy EFE/KINT News

On Thursday, Nov. 14, three unidentified armed men broke into the Pro-búsqueda Association, a human rights organization that works to locate children missing from El Salvador’s civil war, and set fire to the group’s archives, which included records of cases of children kidnapped by members of the military during the 1980-92 war between the Salvadoran government and the Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional guerrilla group.

The attack could be related to an appeal before the country’s Supreme Court that seeks to eliminate amnesty for people who committed grave war crimes. Until now, Pro-Búsqueda had documented at least a dozen cases of stolen or missing children.

The Pro-Búsqueda Association focuses on searching for the approximately 1,000 missing children who were disappeared during the 1980s. They started their research as part of the peace negotiations and on Jan. 16, 1992, known as the Chapultepec Peace Agreement, which formally ended the conflict but did not address the problem of missing children and their recommendation to run urgent reforms to the public safety and justice.

The Salvadoran Civil War was a conflict between the government of El Salvador and the left-wing guerrilla group, 1979 and 1992. With the help of the Carter and Reagan administrations, the government of El Salvador killed significant opposition. An unknown number of people “disappeared” during the conflict and the United Nations reports said that more than 75,000 were killed.

Former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, who ruled the country from 2006 to 2010, was on the verge of returning to the Palacio de la Moneda. Although she did not win in the first round, she received 46.68 percent of the votes and hopes to accede to the presidency in the runoff on Dec.15. Her opponent will be Evelyn Matthei, the designated candidate of current President Sebastián Piñera, who won 25.01 percent of the votes. Pinera and Bachelet were followed in votes by the Progressive Party’s leader, Marco Enriquez Ominami and the social liberal Franco Parisi.

The duel between Bachelet and Matthei is marked by their family histories. Both are daughters of soldiers who are friends,the women even used to play together during their childhoods. However, the coup of Sept. 11, 1973 represented a political and personal break: Gen. Fernando Matthei was a Pinochet fan, while Gen. Alberto Bachelet was loyal to the democratic government of Salvador Allende, who was killed by the dictatorship.

Nowadays, their candidacies represent the two major political coalitions in the South-American country. Matthei synthesizes a center-right alliance between Independent Democratic Union (Unión Demócrata Independiente in Spanish). Bachelet, on the other hand, is the referent of a broadened social democratic front: the Coalition of Parties for Democracy, composed of the Socialist and Christian Democratic parties, which joined the Communist Party, whose student leader —Camila Vallejos— became deputy last November.

Due to illegal immigration problems that the Dominican Republic is facing, the state approved a ruling through the Constitutional Court last September that could leave about 250,000 citizens of Haitian descent without citizenship.

The resolution says that children of illegal immigrants in transit are not Dominican nationals and won´t be able to apply for the “permanent resident status” if their parents are currently undocumented. The Supreme Court dictum was clear: “Children who were born in the country but they have foreign parents in transit won´t benefit with the Dominican nationality.”

Fritz Saint Louis, General Secretary of the Haitian Cultural House of Venezuela, told Radio del Sur that the “Dominican Republic has never wanted to live in harmony with the Haitian people—Dominican-Haitian citizens have always been abused by the state.”

A recent report by Amnesty International revealed that in the last six months, more than 6,000 Haitians were deported arbitrarily and violently from the country.