Practice Relating to Rule 151. Individual Responsibility
Section A. Individual criminal responsibility
El Salvador’s Human Rights Charter of the Armed Forces provides: “Nobody shall escape the law, when a violation of human rights has been committed.” It adds: “The committed violations shall not go unpunished.”
El Salvador’s Code of Military Justice (1934) provides for the punishment of various offences committed “in time of international or civil war”, such as arson, destruction of property, plundering of inhabitants or acts of violence against persons (Article 68). It also provides for the punishment of other acts committed “in time of international war”, including offences against prisoners of war, attacks on medical units, transports or personnel, abuse of the red cross, destruction of cultural property, offences against parlementaires
(Article 69), despoliation of the wounded or prisoners (Article 70), despoliation of the dead (Article 71), and unnecessary requisition of buildings and objects (Article 72).
El Salvador’s Penal Code (1997) provides for the punishment of acts of “Genocide” (Article 361), “Violations of the laws and customs of war” committed “during an international or a civil war” (Article 362), “Violations of the duties of humanity” (Article 363), and “Enforced disappearance of persons” (Article 364).
El Salvador’s Penal Code (1997), as amended in 2008, which contains a section on the violations of the laws or customs of war, states in the general section on criminal responsibility:
Art. 32.- Authors, instigators and accomplices are criminally responsible for the offence committed.
Authors can be either direct [authors] or [authors that are] perpetrator-by-means.
Direct Authors and Co-authors
Art. 33.- Direct authors are those who commit an offence on their own or with others.
Art. 34.- Perpetrator-by-means are those committing an offence through another person that they use as an instrument. …
Art. 35.- Anyone who with intent encourages another person to commit an offence is considered an instigator.
Art. 36.- [The following] … [a]re considered accomplices:
1) Anyone cooperating, in any way necessary, with the author or authors, and without which it would not have been possible to commit the offence; and
2) Anyone cooperating in any way in the commission of an offence.
The Penal Code further states in the general section: “Criminal law will be equally applicable to all persons who at the moment of the act were over the age of eighteen. Persons under this age will be subjected to a special regime.”