Last week I interviewed El Faro's Carlos Dada, who published a lengthy story on the Romero case based on an exclusive interview with Alvaro Saravia. It's long, but makes for a good read. I think the interview adds some context. It was published at the new Open Society Blog, which has some interesting stories, if I do say so myself. Perhaps worthy of note is the commentary on the piece by the irrepressibly contrarian Paolo Luers, who questions the style in which Dada wrote the piece, saying that it's hard to know at times who's voice is represented in the text -- Saravia's? Dada's? I think he raises some legitimate issues, but he could up just debating himself if El Faro doesn't respond. Meanwhile, the issue of amnesty (or rather, whether to reverse the old post-peace accord amnesty decree) has been revived in a way that we haven't experienced in many years. More on that later, if I ever get caught up with other tasks at hand.
Also, on March 7, Freedom House's Countries at the Crossroads report, a survey of democratic governance in selected countries, was released. I authored the report on El Salvador. Although it is dated 2010, it covers March 2005 to September 2009, which in the case of El Salvador is essentially the Tony Saca administration. Although in most ways, El Salvador is much better off in terms of governance indicators than other Central American countries, there's one issue that brought it's overall score down -- the absence of a Transparency Law. I personally think this issue is overrated, since most transparency laws in the region are not complied with at all, and institutions (like the IFAI in Mexico) find a way to subvert the intentions of the law.