To this day, Álvaro Saravia remains the only person held responsible by a court of law for the murder of Óscar Romero, and his penalty is nothing more than a dollar figure he has never paid. This lamentable reality is less an indication of the significance of the lawsuit we brought and more an indictment of the tight lid that impunity has imposed whenever efforts to seek accountability have bubbled up in El Salvador. The Amnesty Law passed in 1993, five days after the Truth Commission named Saravia, Roberto D’Aubuisson, and others as the men who killed Romero, endured for twenty-three years, surviving ARENA’s departure from political power and the ascension of the former guerrilla party, the FMLN, to a second consecutive presidential term. But in July 2016, the Constitutional Chamber of El Salvador’s Supreme Court, a body more independent of outside influence than the one that threw out the arrest warrant against Saravia in 1988, ruled the Amnesty Law unconstitutional. One of the judges who voted to scrap the amnesty was previously a lawyer in the archdiocese’s human rights office who investigated the abuses that Monseñor Romero denounced from his pulpit....
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