Every year, on the 24th of March the International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims is celebrated.
With this international day, we pay tribute to the memory of Monsignor Óscar Arnulfo Romero, who was assassinated on March 24, 1980. Monsignor Romero actively denounced the violations of the human rights of the most vulnerable people in El Salvador.
The right to the truth is often invoked in the context of gross violations of human rights and serious offences of humanitarian law. Victims and relatives of victims of summary executions, forced disappearances, disappearances, kidnapping of minors or tortures, demand to know what happened. The right to the truth entails having full and complete information of the acts that occurred, the people who participated in them and the specific circumstances, in particular of the violations perpetrated and their motivation.
The purpose of the Day is:
- Promote the memory of victims of serious and systematic human rights violations and the importance of the right to truth and justice.
- Pay tribute to those who have dedicated their lives to the fight of promoting and protecting the human rights of all and to those who have lost it in their efforts.
- Recognize, in particular, the important work and values of Salvadoran Monsignor Óscar Arnulfo Romero, promoter and defender of human rights in his country. His work was internationally recognized thanks to his messages, in which he denounced human rights violations of the most vulnerable population in the context of armed conflicts. As a humanist and defender of the dignity of the human being, his constant calls for dialogue and his opposition to all forms of violence to avoid armed confrontation cost him his life on March 24th, 1980.