El Salvador denies Romero assassination responsibility, seeks his beatification

The El Salvador government says that it will seek the beatification of murdered Archbishop Oscar Romero but denies any responsibility for his death saying that his killer has already been tried.

Mercury News reports that El Salvador Security and Justice Vice Minister Astor Escalante announced the decision during a meeting with supporters of the archbishop at the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights' offices in Washington last week.

Deputy Foreign Minister Eduardo Calix confirmed the decision Friday in an interview with the Associated Press in El Salvador.

"The state can't accept responsibility because there was a clear person responsible for the killing, and that person was tried," Escalante said.

A Salvadoran court found former death squad member Alvaro Saravia guilty of fatally shooting Romero in the late 1980s. Saravia was released from prison with a 1993 amnesty after El Salvador's 1992 peace accords.

Romero was assassinated in 1980 after he urged the military to halt death squads that killed thousands of suspected guerrillas and leftist opponents of the government.

David Morales, a church legal representative in El Salvador, said the decision to support the beatification process was just a "smoke screen" to defer criticism of its decision not to lift the 1993 amnesty.

The UN truth commission on El Salvador reported in 1993 that notorious death squad leader, Major Roberto D'Aubuisson, ordered Romero killed. D'Aubuisson, who died in 1992, denied involvement.

El Salvador to seek Romero beatification (Mercury News, 22/7/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
OScar Romero {Wikipedia}
Oscar Romero {Silk.net}
El Salvador {Wikipedia}

Pope warns over Europe "apostasy" {CathNews, 26/3/07}
Group files lawsuit against Romero assassination accused (CathNews, 19/7/03}

23 Jul 2007