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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

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.

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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Aadhaar Helpline Mystery: French Security Expert Tweets of doing a Full Disclosure Tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App

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Google comes up with a new feature

Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get  transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.

Google was yet to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.

“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.

“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.

On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?