Dáil Éireann - Volume 410 - 02 July, 1991

Written Answers. - El Salvador Murders.

31. Mr. McCartan asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if his attention has been drawn to the fact that a United States military adviser has admitted that he had prior knowledge of the plot to murder six Jesuit priests in El Salvador in November 1989; if he has made any representations to the US authorities regarding the role of their military advisers in this atrocity; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Collins): I have seen press reports relating to the matter raised by the Deputy. These reports have not been the subject of official confirmation at any stage. The US authorities have condemned the murders and have pressed for those responsible to be brought to justice.

The Twelve have at all times followed with great attention the investigation into the murder of the six Jesuits and their two co-workers. They have pressed the Government of El Salvador to pursue to a satisfactory conclusion their judicial proceedings regarding the crime. Most recently, at the Seventh San Jose meeting in Managua on 18 and 19 March, the Twelve noted the commitment made by the Government of El Salvador to step up their efforts to conclude their investigations and bring to justice those responsible for the deplorable murder of the six Jesuit priests and two of their helpers. The Twelve and the Central American countries agreed that this would make a vital contribution towards strengthening the independence of the judiciary in that country and show genuine respect for human rights, which are key elements in any democracy.