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A decision by El Salvador’s Supreme Court to declare the country’s Amnesty Law unconstitutional is a historic and long awaited step forward for justice, Amnesty International said.

“Today is an historic day for human rights in El Salvador. By turning its back on a law that has done nothing but let criminals get away with serious human rights violations for decades, the country is finally dealing with its tragic past,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

“El Salvador must waste no time and bring all those suspected of criminal responsibility for the tens of thousands of unlawful killings and enforced disappearances that were committed during the internal armed conflict to justice. Victims should not be made to wait for justice, truth and reparation for a second longer.”

According to a UN Truth Commission, more than 75,000 people were tortured, unlawfully killed and forcibly disappeared during the internal armed conflict in El Salvador between 1980 and 1992.

The Salvadorian army was responsible for a number of massacres in villages accused of supporting guerrilla groups.

Five days after the UN Truth Commission published its recommendations in 1993, authorities in El Salvador passed an Amnesty Law that has so far prevented investigations into the human rights violations committed during the conflict.