[Ecumenical News International, London] El Salvador on Nov. 11 bestowed the first “Amigo de El Salvador” award on the London-based Archbishop Romero Trust, which celebrates the legacy of human rights advocate Archbishop Oscar Romero.
Hugo Martinez, El Salvador’s minister for foreign affairs, presented a gold medallion at a London reception to the trust chair, Julian Filochowski, and said the award was in recognition of the trust’s work.
Founded in 2007, the trust promotes knowledge and awareness of Romero’s life and work, organizes an annual lecture and supports human rights and social justice initiatives in Latin America, according to its website.
The new award will be bestowed on foreign nationals that have contributed to the wellbeing of Salvadoreans abroad and in their country. The awards reception was hosted by El Salvador’s ambassador to Great Britain and was attended by Brazilian, Chilean and Argentinian ambassadors.
Romero, who was Roman Catholic, spoke out against repression during El Salvador’s 12-year civil war in which at least 75,000 people died. He was murdered while saying Mass on March 24, 1980. U.S. President Barack Obama last May visited his burial site in the cathedral of San Salvador.
The trust’s patrons include Catholic and Anglican clergy in Britain, including Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams. In the Episcopal Church, the feast day for Romero and the martyrs of El Salvador is March 24.