The violence in El Salvador, which has taken tens of thousands of innocent lives in the past three years, is the tragic result of applying a military solution to an economic, social, and political crisis. While acts of violence have been committed by both sides in the civil war, it is clear that Salvadoran government-backed forces are largely responsible for the heavy toll of civilian casualties, too often through methods that offend any standard of human decency.
Official repression of the Salvadoran people has brought condemnation of the Salvadoran government by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, the International Commission of Jurists, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights Amnesty International, the American Civil Liberties Union, and many traditional United States allies in Europe and Latin America.
The present United States administration's repeated certifications of improvements in El Salvador are not well supported by facts. Significant political, economic, and legal reforms have been impeded by the government that was in power prior to the recent elections; mass murders continue; the killers of Archbishop Romero and United States religious and labor workers, as well as thousands of Salvadoran civilians, have not been brought to justice. These practices constitute a gross and consistent disrespect for human rights and basic democratic practice in El Salvador. The Salvadoran government opposes negotiations, despite repeated offers by the opposition to begin them.
The United States government continues to be the principal supplier of essential military and economic assistance to the government of El Salvador. The prospect of direct United States military intervention in El Salvador and Central America may increase in proportion to the decreasing effectiveness of the Salvadoran army.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Union of American Hebrew Congregations:
- Urges the United States government and all other governments to continue to seek a negotiated settlement of the conflict in El Salvador;
- Calls upon the United States government and all other governments to terminate military assistance to all parties involved in the conflict in El Salvador and to withdraw military personnel and advisers;
- Renews our appeal to all parties to seek a political solution through international mediation of the conflict by friendly states or multinational organizations;
- [Calls upon all parties to] continue efforts to develop free, safe and democratic elections at the local and national levels in El Salvador;
- Encourages direct economic aid by the United States government as well as support by all parties for the efforts of the United Nations and private charitable organizations to provide food and medical supplies to the civilians in El Salvador; and
- Urges the United States government to receive Salvadoran refugees in the United States and to allow them to remain in the United States.