Hear My Testimony: Maraia Teresa Tula, Human Rights Activist of El Salvador

By María Teresa Tula; Lynn Stephen | Go to book overview

Epilogue

One year ago we Salvadorans had faith that the just peace we had so long awaited had finally arrived. Peace was declared, but human rights abuses have continued. Death squads are still threatening people's lives. We hope that little by little the signed Peace Accords move from paper to reality as the Salvadoran people keep on pressuring for peace in our country. The signing of the Peace Accords has forced some concessions, such as the dissolution of some of the most criminal elite battalions trained in the United States.

I am worried that many Salvadorans are leaving the country to become refugees or to look for new lives and new horizons in the United States. Sadly, the U.S. government won't accept cases of political asylum. The U.S. government didn't accept these cases in the 1980s, in spite of the fact that the majority of applicants had suffered persecution. Many had received threats from death squads for belonging to social movements. The U.S. government is using the signing of the Peace Accords as an excuse to reject salvadorans' request for political asylum. People in El Salvador however, are still afraid to say what they think, to speak out in public about social conditions or their political ideas.

Things will change in our country, little by little. Change is always a slow process. It's hard for me to say this, but some of our leaders who signed the Peace Accords are behind the times, even though they are politically and ideologically capable. Hopefully we will see peace become a reality. There have been changes in the structure of the military, but the same people are still in power. This is like changing an old pair of shoes for a new one. The feet are still there underneath. I hope that the feet of

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