International Justice Day is a time to celebrate advances in international justice, but it’s also an opportunity to build on those advances. That’s why our Coalition called on El Salvador to join the ICC this past 17 July.
Our partners at the Salvadorian Coalition for the ICC encouraged lawmakers in El Salvador’s Legislative Assembly to take steps to accede to the ICC Rome Statute, which was adopted 17 years ago.
Acceding to the Statute would provide Salvadorians with protections against serious human rights violations. While progress has been made, El Salvador must show its political will to move forward with the accession process. Some obstacles that have remained include misconceptions that the Court would prosecute individuals accused of crimes during El Salvador’s 1979-1992 civil war.
Wilfredo Medrano, coordinator of the Salvadoran Coalition for the ICC:
“The former president of the Legislative Assembly included accession of the Rome Statute in the agenda, but unfortunately there are still people who distort the content of the Statute.”
At their meeting with legislators, members of the Salvadoran Coalition explained that those responsible for violations of human rights during El Salvador’s armed conflict should not fear the adoption of the Statute, since the ICC does not have jurisdiction over crimes committed before the country joins the Court.
Victoria Constance Trail, coordinator of the Salvadoran Coalition for the ICC:
“The statute is clear and precise. The Statute deals cases that take place once the State has acceded to the Statute, […] and we have stressed this several times. The Statute is not retroactive. I don’t understand the reason to be afraid of acceding to this instrument.”
El Salvador and Nicaragua are the only countries in South and Central America that have not yet ratified the Rome Statute.
Want to receive news like this in your inbox? Sign up here for weekly mail updates.