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Judge Orders Reopening of El Salvador Military Massacre Case

The decision was based on a July ruling by the country's Supreme Court that overturned a law granting amnesty for war crimes during El Salvador's 1979-1992 civil war

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Relatives sit next to the remains of 11 victims of the El Mozote massacre during a ceremony at the Supreme Court of Justice in San Salvador, El Salvador May 20, 2016.
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San Salvadoro, October 2, 2016: A judge in El Salvador has ordered prosecutors to reopen a probe into one of the most notorious massacres in recent history: the army’s slaying of hundreds of people in the village of El Mozote.

Human rights advocate Ovidio Mauricio told The Associated Press on Saturday that Judge Jorge Guzman Urquilla had accepted the request filed by his organization and two other groups. The decision was based on a July ruling by the country’s Supreme Court that overturned a law granting amnesty for war crimes during El Salvador’s 1979-1992 civil war.

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A postwar U.N. truth commission concluded that the army massacred at least 500 people in El Mozote and surrounding villages in three days in December 1981. Victims’ rights advocates put the number closer to 1,000. Overall, at least 75,000 people died in the small nation’s civil war.

Researchers say the El Mozote villagers were largely evangelical Christians who had tried to remain neutral in the conflict. Because of that, they decided not to flee when rebel sympathizers nearby ran away from an army advance. But soldiers suspected them of rebel sympathies in any case.

Many of the bodies were dumped in the interior of a small church and burned. Former government human rights prosecutor David Morales said that in one grave alone, forensic experts found “136 skeletons of girls and boys, with an average age of 6 years.”

The army _ and the U.S. government that had trained the Atlacatl battalion involved in the killings _ initially denied any massacre had taken place.

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Following the new ruling, Morales sent a tweet saying that “the forensic evidence of the El Mozote massacre is overwhelming,” and added, “The use of amnesty was always unconstitutional.”

The Supreme Court ruling overturning the amnesty has been welcomed by national and international human rights groups, but it has upset both former military men and the current government, which grew out of the rebel Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front. Both sides fear their allies could face prosecution and say the decision could lead to social conflicts.

The move to reopen the El Mozote probe was led by Mauricio’s Dr. Maria Julia Hernandez Legal Defense agency, the Center for Justice and International Law and the Association to Promote Human Rights of El Mozote.

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The U.N. truth commission report put responsibility for the massacre on Col. Domingo Monterrosa, commander of the Atlacatl battalion, operations chief Col. Armando Azmitia and six other officers. Monterrosa and Azmitia died when a bomb went off in their helicopter in 1984.

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruled that El Salvador should pay reparations for the victims and the government in 2012 accepted the court ruling and apologized for the massacre.(VOA)

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FIFA World Cup 2018: Indian Cuisine becomes the most sought after in Moscow

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Indian cuisine in FIFA World cup
Indian dishes available in Moscow during FIFA World Cup 2018, representational image, wikimedia commons

June 17, 2018:

Restaurateurs Prodyut and Sumana Mukherjee have not only brought Indian cuisine to the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018 here but also plan to dish out free dinner to countrymen if Argentina wins the trophy on July 15.

Based in Moscow for the last 27 years, Prodyut and Sumana run two Indian eateries, “Talk Of The Town” and “Fusion Plaza”.

You may like to read more on Indian cuisine: Indian ‘masala’, among other condiments spicing up global food palate.

Both restaurants serve popular Indian dishes like butter chicken, kebabs and a varied vegetarian spread.

During the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

The Mukherjees, hailing from Kolkata, are die-hard fans of Argentina. Despite Albiceleste drawing 1-1 with Iceland in their group opener with Lionel Messi failing to sparkle, they believe Jorge Sampaoli’s team can go the distance.

“I am an Argentina fan. I have booked tickets for a quarterfinal match, a semifinal and of course the final. If Argentina goes on to lift

During the World Cup, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

FIFA World Cup 2018 Russia
FIFA World Cup 2018, Wikimedia Commons.

“We have been waiting for this World Cup. Indians come in large numbers during the World Cup and we wanted these eateries to be a melting point,” he added.

According to Cutting Edge Events, FIFA’s official sales agency in India for the 2018 World Cup, India is amongst the top 10 countries in terms of number of match tickets bought.

Read more about Indian cuisine abroad: Hindoostane Coffee House: London’s First Indian Restaurant.

Prodyut came to Moscow to study engineering and later started working for a pharmaceutical company here before trying his hand in business. Besides running the two restaurants with the help of his wife, he was into the distribution of pharmaceutical products.

“After Russia won the first match of the World Cup, the footfall has gone up considerably. The Indians are also flooding in after the 6-9 p.m. game. That is the time both my restaurants remain full,” Prodyut said.

There are also plans to rope in registered fan clubs of Latin American countries, who will throng the restaurants during matches and then follow it up with after-game parties till the wee hours.

“I did get in touch with some of the fan clubs I had prior idea about. They agreed to come over and celebrate the games at our joints. Those will be gala nights when both eateries will remain open all night for them to enjoy,” Prodyut said.

Watching the World Cup is a dream come true for the couple, Sumana said.

“We want to make the Indians who have come here to witness the spectacle and feel at home too. We always extend a helping hand and since we are from West Bengal, we make special dishes for those who come from Bengal,” she added. (IANS)