Target: Luis Martinez, Attorney General
Goal: Secure the protection of human rights workers who have been intimidated and harassed, and conduct a full and prompt investigation into thsr ordeal
Since 1994, Pro-Búsqueda has been helping victims of human rights violations in El Salvador. However, a recent violent break-in at Pro-Búsqueda’s headquarters in San Salvador has compromised a great deal of confidential information and left the organization’s workers vulnerable to further violence and intimidation. Sign the petition and urge Salvadoran authorities to investigate the attack on Pro-Búsqueda, bring those responsible to justice, and offer protection to the organization’s workers, who put themselves at risk each day to help others.
The break-in was conducted by three armed men, who came upon Pro-Búsqueda’s driver just before five in the morning outside the organization’s office. They threatened to kill him and then used him to gain access to the building, where two other staff members were already present. All three staff members were tied up and forced to stand by, helpless, as two of the men went through the offices stealing computers and eventually setting fire to paper files dating back to 1994. That same morning, another staff member was followed on her way in to work. Staffers remain concerned for their own safety and for the stability of the organization.
Pro-Búsqueda’s mission is simply “to [locate] children that were ‘disappeared’ during the conflict years (1980-1992),” Amnesty International reports. About 60% of the organization’s cases have resulted in missing children being returned to their families. The organization does invaluable work for the people of El Salvador, reuniting families and offering support systems to former “disappeared” children. It must be allowed to continue its work unhindered. Sign the petition and tell the attorney general of El Salvador to protect Pro-Búsqueda’s staffers and the important work they do.
Dear Attorney General,
I am writing to express my grave concern for the safety of the staff of human rights organization Pro-Búsqueda following a violent break-in at its San Salvador headquarters. I also fear for the organization’s ability to persevere in its important mission of reuniting “disappeared” children with their families in the wake of the recent attack. I urge you to do all in your power to protect Pro-Búsqueda’s workers from threats, violence, and intimidation. Furthermore, I demand that a full investigation be launched into the attack and that those responsible be brought to justice.
Early in the morning on November 14, 2013, three armed men incapacitated Pro-Búsqueda’s driver and used him to gain access to the organization’s offices, where two staff members were already present. The men tied up the staff members and then ransacked the office, stealing computers containing confidential information and burning files. The lost files are not backed up anywhere, severely hindering the organization’s ability to fulfill its mission of reuniting families.
Pro-Búsqueda is about bringing peace and joy to troubled, suffering families. It is horrifying for an organization with such an admirable goal to be the victim of such hatred and violence. I urge you to take a stand and pursue justice for Pro-Búsqueda. Provide staff members with protection in accordance with their own wishes, and leave no stone unturned in your investigation to identify and prosecute those responsible for this heinous attack.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Locochris3 via Wikimedia Commons