Disappeared children: 30 years without Ernestina and Erlinda Serrano Cruz
The Serrano Cruz family with Jon de Cortina, founder of the Salvadoran NGO Pro-Búsqueda, 26 September 2005. The Serrano Cruz family are among hundreds of Salvadorans still searching for children disappeared during the armed conflict (1980-92).© Private
"It was on a 2 June… when they were taken…and we still live that day over and over again, not knowing where they are...Our mother is no longer with us, or our father, but we siblings are still here, and we carry on searching for our sisters” Suyapa Serrano Cruz, April 2012.
On 2 June 1982, at the height of the internal armed conflict in El Salvador, the young Serrano Cruz sisters were taken by the Salvadoran army. Ernestina, then seven years old, and Erlinda, then aged three, were separated from their family while fleeing the approach of the army and the ensuing violence in Chalatenango, northern El Salvador.
The girls’ family have never seen them again, and they remain among the estimated 898 children “disappeared” during the internal armed conflict.
The Serrano Cruz family have fought a long and painful legal battle in the national courts and through the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, to force the Salvadoran authorities to take action. This month the family marks 30 years without news of their relatives, but they do not give up, so we ask that you stand in solidarity with them and all the other Salvadoran families who are still searching for their disappeared children.
We are aiming to reach 898 signatures to represent each disappeared child. Each action will be emailed directly to the president of El Salvador, calling on him to comply with the 2005 Inter-American Court of Human Rights’ order, to ensure that the disappearance of Ernestina and Erlinda Serrano Cruz is thoroughly and impartially investigated so that they can finally be found, that those responsible are brought to justice, and that steps are taken to help locate all of the other disappeared children.