In the early morning of November 16, 1989, in the midst of the largest guerrilla offensive recorded during the Salvadoran civil war (1980-1992), a command of elite soldiers killed the religious on the campus of the Central American University.
Spaniards Ignacio Ellacuría, Segundo Montes, Ignacio Martn-Baró, Amando López, and Juan Ramón Moreno were among the murdered Jesuits. The Salvadorans, Joaquín López (priest), the domestic employee of the university, Julia Elba, and her daughter, Celina Mariceth Ramos, also died alongside them.
Several years later, a Salvadoran peace court, as a result of the annulment of a 1993 amnesty law and at the request of the Central American University (UCA), was ordered in 2017 to reopen the process, but various appeals presented by the defense delayed the start of the proceedings by the Office of the Attorney General of the Republic (FGR).
In September 2020, the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice ordered the closure of the process after resolving three appeals in favor of those linked to the crime, including former president Alfredo Cristiani (1989 -1994).
In order to bring justice and closure to this serious crime in the history of El Salvador, the Prosecutor General of the Republic presented in November 2021 a request for protection before the Constitutional Chamber to annul the decision issued by the Criminal Chamber, whose instruction was to archive the process against the intellectual authors of the case of the Jesuits.
After the intervention of the plaintiff, the defendant authorities and the third parties who appeared to have been indicated in the lawsuit with such a quality, the Constitutional Chamber ruled, granting the protection requested by the Prosecutor General.
«It is declared that the protection requested by the Prosecutor General of the Republic against the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice has been granted, for the violation of the rights to jurisdictional protection (in its manifestation of access to jurisdiction) and to know the truth, for having unjustifiably and unconstitutionally applied a cause for the extinction of criminal responsibility (the prescription), to declare the nullity of the entire criminal process brought against the people who are attributed authorship or participation in the case known as «Massacre of the Jesuits » which became an obstacle to the victims’ families and to society in general from accessing the court so that it could rule on their claim and, therefore, justice and subsequent comprehensive reparation have not been possible»