El Salvador launches commission to find those missing from civil war

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - El Salvador on Wednesday launched the first commission to search for persons who went missing during its civil war, 25 years after the end of a conflict that left tens of thousands dead and hundreds of cases unresolved.

The commission will seek victims who were killed or kidnapped by the military or rebels in order to help reunite them with families or return their remains

People who lost relative have demanded such measures for decades.

“With this instrument we reaffirm our deep commitment to pay off the historical debt to the victims of forced disappearances in the country,” said leftist President Salvador Sanchez Ceren, himself a former guerrilla leader.

The 1980-1992 war in El Salvador between the U.S.-backed army and the Marxist guerrillas of the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN), now the ruling party, left 75,000 dead and 8,000 missing.

“We hope that this commission gives something to the mothers because what we want is at least for them to tell us what they did with them,” said Sofía Hernandez, 74, who is looking for a daughter, two brothers and four nephews.

Last year, the Supreme Court of Justice declared unconstitutional an amnesty law that has prevented since 1993 investigating and prosecuting those accused of war crimes in the impoverished Central American country.

Reporting by Nelson Renteria; Editing by Leslie Adler