July 16, 2016 / 7:52 AM / in 2 years

El Salvador leader raps decision axing amnesty for civil war crimes

SAN SALVADOR (Reuters) - El Salvadoran President Salvador Sanchez Ceren criticized on Friday a Supreme Court ruling that would allow prosecutors to investigate crimes committed during a long civil war that ended nearly 25 years ago.

El Salvador's President Salvador Sanchez Ceren addresses attendees during a plenary meeting of the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit at the United Nations Headquarters in Manhattan, New York September 25, 2015. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

On Wednesday, the court struck down a 1993 amnesty law, which had barred investigation and possible prosecution of perpetrators of atrocities committed during the 1980-1992 conflict.

Sanchez Ceren told domestic television that the court decision does not address “the real and current problems of the country” and could threaten society’s unity.

“Far from helping to resolve the day-to-day problems of Salvadorans,” Sanchez Ceren said, the court ruling “aggravates” them.

Sanchez Ceren is a former guerrilla commander for the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front, now the ruling party, which had fought against the U.S.-backed military during the war.

Both sides were accused of crimes in the war, which left 75,000 people dead while another 8,000 disappeared.

Reporting by Nelson Renteria; Editing by Richard Borsuk

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