Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
Agenda item 4: Human Rights a) Implementation of the UN Declaration
on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
May 16-27, 2011
Oral Statement by Roberto A.A. Barrientos,
Mayor of Izalco, Sonsonate, El Salvador
(On Behalf of the Common Town Hall and the Municipal Town Hall of Izalco, Sonsonate, El Salvador)
Dr. Myrna Cunningham,
Distinguished Chairperson of the Tenth Session of the Permanent Forum, in the name of the Indigenous
peoples of El Salvador, we congratulate you for your designation as the chairperson of this honorable
agency; and we ask the creator to bless you in your business.
Likewise, we would like to call your attention to the following: We, the Indigenous peoples of El
Salvador, have suffered the systematic denial of our human, economic, cultural and socio-political rights
for the last 500 years, endured under the imposition of Frontiers and the state alien to our ancestral
models of life.
We are taking advantage of this opportunity at the Permanent Forum to denounce before the peoples
of the world the genocide committed by the Salvadorian State against our Indigenous brothers through
the massacres of our peoples, especially the massacre of 1932, when more than 35,000 Indigenous
persons died in the Western zone of the country, and that of 1944, when Indigenous leaders were
selectively assassinated throughout the country.
We also condemn the ethnocide that has been committed against our Indigenous population (peoples)
every time that the government-state promotes and imposes laws prohibiting our ancestral customs
and practices, including the use of our traditional dress and the use of our languages. A specific case in
point involves Decree 450, or the name law, which dooms new generations to forget their identity and
their historic legacy.