What Hope Looks Like

The Children's Garden in El Mozote today, erected over the site where hundreds of children were murdered. 

The Children's Garden in El Mozote today, erected over the site where hundreds of children were murdered. 

Let’s talk about relentless hope.

Bobby Kennedy put it this way: 

“Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”

Nowhere is the power of relentless hope more apparent than in the El Mozote case.

When we talk about this case, it’s important to say that it’s one of the largest unprosecuted war crimes in the world. We must remember the tragic facts of the massacre where more than 1,000 innocent people, including 500 children, had their lives brutally and systematically stolen.

Learn more about the El Mozote and follow current news at www.cristosal.org/el-mozote.

But I believe it’s equally important to talk about David Morales and the lawyers from Tutela Legal, who have never stopped demanding that this case be heard, despite over 25 years of rejection.

We must talk about the courage of 70-year-old María del Rosario López Sánchez, who stands perhaps 5 feet tall but whose voice commanded an entire courtroom when she declared before the judge and 13 unfriendly lawyers, “I always say there will be justice. If there is no justice here, God will serve justice to these people.”

We must talk about the change in Judge Jorge Guzman Urquilla, who is treating victims like María with greater respect because, in the words of prosecuting attorney David Morales, “The power of truth always transforms.”

We must talk about the way their relentless hope is building a current to rival the indifference and impunity of some very powerful political and military networks. Their hope demands justice, not just for the El Mozote massacre, but for the hundreds of thousands of Salvadorans affected by present-day violence and displacement.

Morales insists that, "Despite the fact that it does not even process a significant percentage of today's homicides, the criminal system does have the capacity to carry these cases forward.”

Support our Strategic Litigation Unit in accompanying Tutela Legal’s representation of massacre victims at www.cristosal.org/give.

Hannah Rose Nelson