Remember El Salvador's disappeared children on 29th March - Send cards of solidarity

*Posted by Frances*

Today, Tuesday 29th March, is El Salvador's day to remember the children who disappeared during the internal armed conflict.

Children like Ernestina and Erlinda Serrano Cruz, who were aged just 7 and 3 years respectively when they were captured by the Salvadoran army in 1982.

- You may remember their case featured in the Greetings Card Campaign this year. Take action here to build on the positive developments so far.

 Over 700 children "disappeared" in El Salvador during the internal armed conflict. Some were taken in by soldiers, some were placed in orphanages, while others were put up for adoption in El Salvador as well as the United States and Europe.

Thanks to efforts by national human rights organisations, more than 300 children have since been found and most of these have been reunited with their biological families. The rest, including the Serrano Cruz sisters, remain unaccounted for and progress is slow.

To mark the date, please send cards of solidarity to the NGO Pro Búsqueda, which works tirelessly to locate the children and reunite families.

Every year some of the “disappeared” children are located or come forward in an attempt to trace their “real” families. Children like Martina, who along with her sister Silvia were forcibly separated from their biological family in 1982. Their father was subsequently killed in the conflict, but their mother survived. Both girls were adopted by different families in Italy, where they were well cared for. Neither knew of the circumstances of their adoption and neither knew of the other’s existence, until 2003. They were reunited by NGO Pro Búsqueda: six years later they took the decision to travel to El Salvador with their adopted families, to discover their roots and find their biological family. They were finally re-united with their biological mother, sisters and extended family on 27 December 2009. 

This is one story of many. For the children who are still unaccounted for, including the Serrano Cruz sisters, the search continues. In the words of their older sister Suyapa:  “I imagine my sisters as little girls, although they aren’t little girls anymore. They were really happy, pretty, with big eyes. We will carry on the struggle and it’s our hope that we will see them again one day. The authorities have to do something, because they can do it. They know who operated in that area, which children were taken and where they are.”

 

Write your own message or use a general message along the lines of: “Saludos de sus amigos en el Reino Unido” (Greetings from your friends in the United Kingdom ) or“En solidaridad con todo su trabajo por los niños desaparecidos” (In solidarity with all your work for the disappeared children) 

Please send your cards to: 

Pro Búsqueda
Urbanización Buenos Aires 4
Avenida Santa Mónica #10
Apartado postal: 3211
San Salvador
El Salvador 

Please also mark the date by writing to the President and Attorney General in El Salvador, reminding them of El Salvador’s responsibilities under the ruling of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. 

Please send your letters to

President

Mauricio Funes Cartegena
Presidente de la República            
Casa Presidencial
Alameda Dr. Manuel E. Araujo No. 5500
San Salvador
El Salvador
(Dear President/Estimado Sr. Presidente)

Attorney General
Romeo Benjamín Barahona Meléndez
Fiscal General de la República
Fiscalía General de la República
Final Calle Oriente y 19 Avenida Sur
Residencial Primavera
Santa Tecla
La Libertad
El Salvador
(Dear Attorney General/Estimado Sr. Fiscal General)  

UK Ambassador
Ambassador Roberto Ricardo Avila AvilezEmbassy of El Salvador
8 Dorset Square
London
NW1 6PU

 Thank you for reading :)

Frances

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