INTER - AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
COMISION INTERAMERICANA DE DERECHOS HUMANOS
COMISSÃO INTERAMERICANA DE DIREITOS HUMANOS
COMMISSION INTERAMÉRICAINE DES DROITS DE L'HOMME
ORGANIZACIÓN DE LOS ESTADOS AMERICANOS
WASHINGTON, D.C. 2 0 0 0 6 EEUU
March 8, 2011
Ref.:

Case No. 10.720
The Massacres of El Mozote and Neighboring Locations
El Salvador

Mr. Secretary:
I am pleased to address you on behalf of the Inter-American Commission on
Human Rights in order to file Case No. 10.720, The Massacres of El Mozote and
Neighboring Locations v. the State of El Salvador (hereinafter “the State,” “the
Salvadorian State” or “El Salvador”), before the jurisdiction of the Inter-American Court
of Human Rights. The case concerns consecutive massacres committed between
December 11 and 13, 1981 within a military operation by the Atlacatl Battalion, together
with associated military units, in seven different locations in the north of the Department
of Morazán. Thus, the indiscriminate attack against the civilian population commenced
in the small village of El Mozote, continued in the Canton of La Joya, the townships of
Ranchería, Los Toriles and Jocote Amarillo, and concluded in the Canton of Cerro
Pando and the Cave of the Ortiz Hill (Cerro Ortiz.) As a result of these facts, about a
thousand people lost their lives. While an investigation of these events was initiated,
they remain unpunished after the dismissal of the case rendered on September 27,
1993, in the light of the General Amnesty Law for the Consolidation of Peace, which
remains in effect in El Salvador. In later years, some exhumations were carried out but
they did not cause the reactivation of the investigations, despite repeated requests to the
relevant authorities.
The State ratified the American Convention on Human Rights on June 23, 1978,
and accepted the contentious jurisdiction of the Court on June 6, 1995. In addition, the
State ratified the Inter-American Convention to Prevent and Punish Torture and the
Inter-American Convention to Prevent, Punish and Eradicate Violence against Women
on December 5, 1994 and January 26, 1996, respectively.

Mr.
Pablo Saavedra Alessandri, Secretary
Inter-American Court of Human Rights
P.O. Box 6906-1000
San José, Costa Rica

Enclosures
The Commission has designated Commissioner Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, and
Executive Secretary of the IACHR, Santiago A. Canton, as its delegates. Likewise,
Elizabeth Abi-Mershed, Deputy Executive Secretary, and Isabel Madariaga and Silvia

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