Among the sea of names of victims of the Salvadoran civil war, engraved on a long black granite wall, Matilde Asencio managed to find the name of her son, Salvador.
Except for a house with its walls riddled with holes made by bursts of machine gun fire, nobody would say that the quiet Salvadoran village of El Mozote was the scene of one of the worst massacres in Latin America, just 35 years ago.
The ruling of the highest court to repeal the amnesty law places El Salvador in the dilemma of deciding whether the country should prosecute those who committed serious violations to human rights during the civil war.
Knife in hand, Domitila Reyes deftly cuts open the leaves covering the cob of corn, which she carefully removes from the plant – a process she carries out over and over all morning long, standing in the middle of a sea of corn, a staple in the diet of El Salvador.
The memory of a priest killed shortly before civil war broke out in El Salvador is so alive in this small town that it is now the main attraction in a community tourist initiative aimed at providing employment and injecting money into the local economy.
The upcoming municipal and legislative elections in March and the hiring of former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani as a kind of anti-crime tzar are not the best equation for bringing down El Salvador’s high murder rate, analysts say.
Rural communities and social organisations in El Salvador agree that the lack of specific laws is one of the main hurdles to resolving disputes over water in the country.
Under a searing sun, surrounded by a sea of young maize plants, Gladys Cortez expresses her fears that her employment in the cooperative that produces seed for the Salvadoran government may be at risk, if United States companies achieve participation in seed procurement.
Pressure from social organisations has temporarily halted concessions of television broadcasting frequencies in El Salvador, a country where the struggle for spectrum ownership has political and ideological overtones, as well as economic ones.