Last week we reported on the disappearance of Marcelo Rivera, a social leader and activist from the community of San Isidrio, Cabanas. We received notice this morning that the Salvadoran police found a body at the bottom of a well that family members believe to be Marcelo. The body is in poor condition and the police are testing DNA to make a positive identification. While we have few details, reports indicate that the body shows signs of torture.
Among other things, Marcelo was a leader in the anti-mining movement that has prevented Pacific Rim from mining gold in his home community of San Isidrio. He also spoke out against corruption in the local government and helped to identify acts of voter fraud in San Isidrio during the January 18th elections. Students, friends, neighbors, and other activists recently held a “white protest” to denounce the inaction by police and prosecutors in investigating his disappearance.
While the recent election of Mauricio Funes to the Presidency was a significant victory, the struggle for justice and equality continues in El Salvador. We in the U.S. must stand with the Salvadoran community in demanding that the police and prosecutors conduct a thorough investigation into this heinous crime, and that those responsible are brought to justice. We will post more information as it becomes available, and let you know ways that you can get involved.
Our condolences to Marcelo’s family and community for their great loss.