Bruno Kreisky Foundation

for Human Rights

COMADRES – Committee of the Mothers and Families of Political Prisoners, and Missing and Murdered Persons in El Salvador (El Salvador)

Comite de Madres y Familiares de Presos, Desaparecidos y Asesinados Politicos de El Salvador

In 1977 a small group of directly concerned people came together to create the organization COMADRES (Committee of the Mothers and Families of Political Prisoners, and Missing and Murdered Persons) in El Salvador. COMADRES has taken on the task of upholding human rights’ practices in El Salvador.

The activities of the Committee began in the end of the seventies. They protested against state institutions, and also began raising awareness for their cause. Through newspaper ads and work with international delegations they drew the public’s attention to the human rights violations and created a sense of solidarity. The members come from different places in society. COMADRES is not politically affiliated and claims that their main objective is to uncover the fate of their lost relatives. The organization’s members support and fight for the discovery of their lost children and husbands. In the late seventies they also fought for unconditional freedom for all political prisoners, explanations of the whereabouts of the disappeared and imprisoned, and justice for those responsible for the political assassinations and abductions. They also fought for the dismissal of information that was obtained by the government through torture.

Their work has saved many people in danger as well as those who were persecuted for political reasons. The government’s harassment of Comadres members made it practically impossible for them to operate. In addition to receiving the Bruno Kreisky Prize, they also received the Human Rights Award from the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Institute in 1984.