PRESS RELEASE 154
State Secretary for International Cooperation and for Ibero-America and the Caribbean visits El Salvador on the 30th anniversary of the murder of the Spanish Jesuits
16/11/2019

16 November marks 30 years since the brutal murder of six Jesuit priests at the Central American University in El Salvador (UCA).  Five of them were Spanish. The housekeeper who worked at the priests’ residence and her eldest daughter were also murdered on that night in 1989, in an attempt not to leave any witnesses of the appalling crime.

The State Secretary for International Cooperation and for Ibero-America and the Caribbean (SECIPIC), Juan Pablo de Laiglesia, has travelled to San Salvador to participate in the events scheduled to remember the “UCA martyrs,” as they have become known among the Salvadorian Jesuit community. The State Secretary attended the mass held at the Ignacio Ellacuría Auditorium and visited the university’s Martyrs Memorial room, which offers a haunting reminder of the events on that night of 16 November 1989. He aslo visited the rose garden, which now stands at the place where the priests’ bodies were found.
 
“We want to accompany the Jesuit community and the Salvadorian people as they honour the memory of the Jesuit priests on the 30th anniversary of this terrible crime,” said State Secretary de Laiglesia.
 
After the mass in memory of the priests, the State Secretary had the opportunity to speak with the Rector, Fr. Andreu Oliva, and the Director of the University Institute of Human Rights, Fr. José María Tojeira, who was a colleague of the Jesuits murdered in 1989.
 
The Spanish Cultural Centre in San Salvador has also joined in on the 30th anniversary commemoration of the Jesuit murders, hosting the exhibition Martyr, which opened last Thursday and will remain open until February 2020. Using the archives as a common thread, the exhibition reflects on the life and work of the UCA martyrs and the context of their murders.

 

 


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