"I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate on behalf of the government of El Salvador our request for forgiveness to the thousands of innocent victims, but especially the victims of the massacre at El Mozote," Hugo Martinez, the country’s foreign minister, said.
Martinez noted that Mauricio Funes, the country's first democratically-elected president since the civil war, had already apologised for other violent incidents attributed to the army, state security forces and paramilitary groups.
"This event seeks to honour the memory of hundreds of innocent people who were murdered 30 years ago here in El Mozote and in other nearby hamlets," he said.It's important that the Salvadoran state ask for forgiveness and take responsibility for the acts carried out in its name during the country's civil war. However, just like the earlier apologies from President Funes and those from Alvaro Colom in Guatemala, it'll really be something when those who ordered the killings or covered-up them up ask for forgiveness. Funes and the FMLN were not responsible for the massacre.
In Guatemala, it doesn't look like President-elect Otto Perez Molina is going to continue President Colom's unearthing of the past. From Perez Molina's perspective, there's nothing for which to apologize.
In El Salvador, President Funes has another two and one-half years in office. As of today, it doesn't look like ARENA is poised to follow in Funes' footsteps should they win the 2014 presidential election. And from ARENA's perspective, I can just hear them argue that the massacre at El Mozote, even if there was one, was not their responsibility. The massacre occurred under the civil-military junta "led" by José Napoleón Duarte of the Christian Democratic Party. The reason ARENA formed was because they disagreed with how the government was prosecuting the war.
***Sorry about having to make the changes. Tim pointed out that it was Luna who called on the government to make things rights rather than Martinez.