Salvadoran congress passes war crimes sentence reduction law

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El Salvador’s congress has passed a law allowing judges to reduce sentences for crimes committed during the country’s 1980-1992 civil war, drawing criticism from the president and rights activists.

President Nayib Bukele vowed to veto the law, saying it did not contain the key elements of “truth, justice and reparation.”

In 2016, the country’s Supreme Court struck down a 1993 amnesty law and ordered the assembly to draw up a new bill including those three principles.

Congressman Juan José Martell said the bill had “been drawn up behind the backs of victims” and was a “disguised amnesty law.”

The 84-seat unicameral National Assembly approved the bill in a 44-11 vote on Wednesday.

The 12-year conflict between the government and leftist guerrillas killed more than 75,000 people.

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