Practice Relating to Rule 159. Amnesty
Section A. Amnesty for participation in non-international armed conflicts
In 1987, El Salvador’s Law on Amnesty to Achieve National Reconciliation (1987), adopted in conformity with the 1987 Esquipulas II Accords, provides:
Absolute amnesty is granted ipso jure to all persons, whether nationals or foreigners, who have acted as the immediate or proximate perpetrators of or accomplices to political crimes or related ordinary crimes or ordinary crimes committed prior to 22 October 1987 in which no fewer than 20 persons were involved.
This shall apply to those who have taken up arms if they approach the civilian or military authorities and state their wish to renounce violence and receive amnesty within 15 days of the date this law enters into force.
Those who took part in the assassinations of Mgr Oscar Romero and Herbert Anaya, committed kidnapping for personal gain or engaged in drug trafficking cannot benefit from the amnesty.
Article 1 of El Salvador’s General Amnesty Law for Consolidation of Peace (1993) gives full, absolute and unconditional amnesty to all persons who in any way have participated in the commission of political crimes, related common crimes and common crimes committed before 1 January 1992 by persons numbering no less than 20. In Article 2, the law extends the definition of a political crime to include “crimes against the public peace”, “crimes against judicial activity” and crimes “committed because, or as a result of armed conflict, without taking into consideration political status, militancy, affiliation or ideology”. Article 4 provides, inter alia
: “The amnesty granted by this law extinguishes all civil liability.”