The president of El Salvador, Mauricio Funes, recently apologized for the March 24, 1980 murder of Archbishop Oscar Romero of San Salvador. The president noted that the death squads who carried out the murder acted in collaboration with state agents.
“In these circumstances and in my capacity as president of the country, I ask forgiveness in the name of the Salvadoran State for this murder perpetrated 30 years ago,” Funes declared in an official declaration.
Funes has asked pardon from the family of Archbishop Romero, expressing his “sincerest condolences” and unconditional support “in the struggle to clarify the truth.” Gaspar Romero, the late archbishop’s brother, accepted Funes' gesture.
The president acknowledged that Archbishop Romero “was a victim of the illegal violence perpetrated by a death squad.”
“These kinds of illegally armed groups carried out widespread terror among the civil population during those fateful years, leaving behind thousands of victims. These death squads unfortunately acted with the protection, collaboration or participation of state agents," he explained.
Funes noted that the members of the “violent group” that carried out the killing “have already been identified by international investigators, both from the U.N. and from the Inter-American Human Rights Commission.” “Our government has accepted the legal validity of these reports before the Inter-American Human Rights Commission, and thus our official recognition of the truth is unquestionable.”