This is a case about the disappearance of two children during El Salvador’s civil war. In1982, Ernestina and Erlinda Serrano Cruz, seven and three years old respectively, were captured by soldiers in the Atlacatl Battalion of the Salvadoran Army, during a military operation known as “Operación Limpieza” (Operation Cleansing). The Court found that the State violated the American Convention on Human Rights for the capture, abduction and forced disappearance of the Serrano Cruz sisters.The case was only partly successful because some issues were beyond the Court’s temporal jurisdiction. The case also touched on the relationship between international human rights law and international humanitarian law.
Case Summary: Serrano Cruz Sisters v. El Salvador, Case Summary