Information on three FMLN members who were allegedly arrested in 1987, sentenced to life imprisonment, and escaped from Gotera prison in January 1995 [SLV28057.E]

The information that follows was provided during a 17 October 1997 telephone interview by a representative of the Frente Farabundo Marti de Liberacion Nacional (FMLN) in San Salvador.

For at least several decades El Salvador has not had life imprisonment; the maximum sentencing possible is and has been 30 years. The source was unable to corroborate within the time constraints of this Response to Information Request whether a prisoner escape took place in January 1995 in San Francisco Gotera (which could colloquially be referred to as Gotera). However, the source stated that after the peace agreements, an amnesty covering both the members of the armed forces and of the FMLN covered also imprisoned members of both parties to the conflict; therefore, persons claiming to have been in prison after the peace agreements and the amnesty would in all likelihood have been serving sentences for crimes unrelated to the war in which the FMLN fought.

The information that follows was provided during a 17 October 1997 telephone interview by a staff member of the Human Rights Commission (CDH) of El Salvador.

El Salvador did not have life imprisonment in the 1980s and does not have it at present. Thirty years is and has long been the maximum possible sentence for any crime or combination of crimes in El Salvador. The source added that a broad amnesty passed after the peace agreements covered all members of the FMLN and the armed forces. The CDH considers that there are currently no political prisoners in El Salvador; any person serving or facing prison sentences who belonged to the FMLN or the armed forces would be in such a situation because of common crimes unrelated to the armed conflict. The source was unable to verify within the time constraints of this Response whether any prisoners had escaped from detention in San Francisco Gotera.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.

References


Comisi├│n de Derechos Humanos (CDH) of El Salvador, San Salvador. 17 October 1997. Telephone interview with representative.

Frente Farabundo Marti de Liberacion Nacional (FMLN), San Salvador. 17 October 1997. Telephone interview with representative.

Additional Sources Consulted


Central America NewsPak [Austin, Tex.]. Bi-weekly.

Central America Report [Guatemala City]. Weekly.

Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS). Daily Report.

Latin America Regional Reports: Central America & the Caribbean [London]. Monthly.

Latin American Weekly Report [London]. Weekly.

Material from the Indexed Media Review (IMR) or country files containing articles and reports from diverse sources (primarily dailies and periodicals) from the Weekly Media Review.

Electronic sources: IRB databases, Global NewsBank, NEXIS, Internet, REFWORLD (UNHCR database).

Note:

This list is not exhaustive. Subject- and country-specific books available in the Resource Centre are not included.