Repatriation of refugees by UNHCR. [SLV8291]

According to the December 1990 issue of Refugees (a UNHCR publication), about 25,000 people have now returned to El Salvador, of whom some 6,000 have gone back on their own (Refugees Dec. 1990).
The December 1990 issue of Refugees also states that more than 8,300 Salvadorans had returned home by the end of March 1990, which allowed the closure of the Colomoncagua and San Antonio camps in Honduras. Only Mesa Grande Camp remains open, where 2,300 refugees still live, and about 300 of them want to return home (Refugees Dec. 1990). Most of the returnees have settled in the northeastern of El Salvador where they built the town of Segundo Montes City. According to some articles, the returnees have no guarantee of security and there has been army harassment. Although these returnees received support from several international aid agencies, they have not yet received any identity documentation by the state. For further information on returnees from Honduras, please refer to the attached articles in Exile of January 1991 and the Central America Report of February 1991 (Exile Jan. 1991; Central America Report 8 Feb. 1991).
The December 1990 issue of Refugees also indicates that about 300 Salvadoran Refugees were preparing to return home from Nicaragua in December 1990 (Refugees Dec. 1990). According to the UNHCR branch in Ottawa, between 600 and 800 refugees should have been repatriated by now, but the process has been delayed by the conclusion of an agreement between the Nicaraguan and Salvadoran governments (UNHCR 3 Apr. 1991). The 8 February 1991 issue of Central America Report reports that the refugees are under increasing pressure to leave, since members of the Nicaraguan army have been accused of selling weapons to the Salvadoran guerrillas. In November 1990, Nicaraguan military officials, Salvadoran officials and delegates from ONUCA (Organization of the United Nations in Central America), searched the offices of various religious and refugee organizations allegedly linked to the FMLN. Salvadoran refugees demanded the Salvadoran government and the UNCHR to take action for their return (Central America Report 8 Feb. 1991; Latin America Press 24 Jan. 1991).
According to the December 1990 issue of Refugees, 600 refugees from the Ciudad Romero camp in Panama started to return to El Salvador in December 1990. The same source states that the camp was closed in December 1990 (Refugees Dec. 1990). The 27 December 1990 issue of Latinamerica Press reports that the refugees asked the Salvadoran government for land in Usulutan, in the north of El Salvador, a region which was the scene of fighting between the army and the guerilla in December 1990 (Latinamerica Press 27 Dec. 1990). The government finally gave in under the pressure from the UNHCR and human rights organizations (Central America Report 8 Feb. 1991). For further information on the repatriation of Salvadoran refugees from Panama, please refer to the attached article published by Central America Report.
More up-to-date information on the repatriation of Salvadoran refugees is not available to the IRBDC at the present time.

Refugees December 1990. « In Search of Stability ».

Exile. January 1991. « Determined Return ».

Exile. January 1991. « One Woman's Vision ».

Central America Report. 8 February 1991. « Home After 11 Years ».

Latinamerica Press. 24 January 1991. « Nicaragua ».

Latinamerica Press. 27 December 1990. « El Salvador ».