REPORT ON THE
SITUATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS
TO RESIDENCE AND MOVEMENT
Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man
person has the right to fix his residence within the territory of the State of
which he is a national, to move about freely within such territory, and not to
leave it except by his own will /
Closely related to the right to physical liberty is the right to resident
and movement. Article VIII of the
American Declaration provides that "every person has the right to fix his
residence within the territory of the State of which he is a national, to move
about freely within such territory, and not to leave it except by his own
will.” Paragraph 5 of Article 22
of the American Convention on Human Rights states that “no one can be expelled
from the territory of the State of which he is a national, or be deprived of the
right to enter it.” Accordingly,
the Constitution of El Salvador upholds this right by stating that “No
Salvadoran may be expatriated, nor his entry into the Republic prohibited, nor
may a passport or other documents of identification for his return be denied.”
During its visit, the Special Committee was told that many political
leaders are in exile and that a number had been expatriated when the current
President of the Republic was Minister of Defense under the previous government.
The Special Committee also received a list containing the names of the
exiled political leaders and their countries of exile.
The list appears below:
Exiled in Costa Rica
Dr. Fabio Castillo Figueroa
Dr. Miguel Angel Saenz Varela
Dr. Gabriel Gallegos Valdes
Dr. Mario Florres Macal
Mr. Manlio Argueta
Mr. Mario Moreira
Mr. José Alfredo Pineda Dubón
Col. Ernesto Claramount
Dr. José Antonio Morales Ehrlich
Mr. Roberto Maravilla
Dr. David Luna
Exiled in México
Dr. Rafael Menjívar
Major Pedro Guardado
Col. Benjamín Mejía
Ing. Manuel Reyes
Mr. David Trejos
Mr. Antonio Meza
Dr. Roberto Viera
Dr. Luis Arévalo
Dr. Mario Salazar Valiente
Exiled in Italy
Dr. Ivo Príamo Alvarenga
Exiled in Venezuela
Ing. José Napoleón Duarte
Dr. Gerardo Godoy
The Government, through the President himself claimed that most of the
so-called political exiles were abroad as “tourists.”
In this regard, it should be pointed out that Article 154 of the
Constitution states that every individual has the right to enter, remain in and
leave the territory of the Republic … and that no Salvadoran may be
expatriated of denied entry.
Special reference should be made to one case related to the members of
the Special Committee during its visit. It
involves Jose Napoleón Duarte, the former Mayor of San Salvador and a
former presidential candidate on the Christian Democratic and the national
opposition Union (UNO) ticket. The
Salvadoran Government has refused to grant authorization for this individual to
return to El Salvador from the forced exile in which he has been since 1972.
During the Special committe0s audience with the President, General Carlos
Humberto Romero, the latter told the members of the Special Committee that the
decision to deny Dr. Duarte permission to re-enter El Salvador had been adopted
by the Government itself.
Likewise, during its on-site visit, the Special Committee received
information to the effect that a citizen of El Salvador, Dr. Ivo Príamo
Alvarenga, an official of the FAO in Rome, Italy, had been kept from
returning to Salvadoran territory.
In a communication recently received at the Inter-American Commission on
Human Rights, it was denounced that Dr. Fabian Castillo Figueroa, a
political leader and former university professor, who together with 14 other
individuals had been expelled on July 22, 1972 from the country by the
Government of Colonel Arturo Armando Molina, had attempted to return to San
Salvador on march 8, 1978, claiming protection under the constitutional
provision to the effect that no citizen may be denied entry and the statements
made publicly by President, to the effect that all Salvadorans may enter their
country. Dr. Castillo had arrived
at the San Salvador airport at 8:00 a.m. on board an AVIATECA airplane from
Guatemala; he was told that he would not be allowed to stay and that he was to
return to Guatemala on the same plane. After
having been detained by INTERPOL in Guatemala’s airport until 6:00 p.m. he
boarded a plane bound for San José, Costa Rica.
American Convention on Human Rights.
Freedom of Movement and Residence
Every person lawfully in the territory of a State Party has the right
to move about in it, and to reside in it subject to the provisions of the
Every person has the right to leave any country freely, including his
The exercise of the foregoing tights may be restricted only pursuant
to a law to the extent necessary in a democratic society to prevent crime or
to protect national security, public safety, public order, public morals,
public health, or the rights or freedoms of others.
The exercise of the rights recognized in paragraph 1, may also be
restricted by law in designated zones, for reasons of public interest.
No one can be expelled from the territory of the state of which he is
a national or be deprived of the right to enter it.
An alien lawfully in the territory of a State party to his convention
may be expelled from it only pursuant to a decision reached in accordance
Every person has the right to seek and be granted asylum a foreign
territory, in accordance with the legislation of the state and international
convention, in the event he is being pursued for political offenses or
related common crimes.
In no case may an alien de deported or returned to a country,
regardless of whether or not it is his country of origin. If in that country
his right to life or personal freedom is in danger of being violated because
of his race, nationality, religion, social status, or political opinions.
The collective expulsion of aliens is prohibited.