In 1985 the Human Rights Department of El Rescate opened an office in El Salvador to gather and distribute information about El Salvador. Particular focus was given to reporting on the immense amount of human rights violations occurring within the country. This was considered necessary as the government and commercial media, with very few exceptions, were considered unreliable sources for providing an accurate account of the situation.
The collection and synthesis of this information served as an important tool for carrying out lobbying work in the U.S. Congress and for organizations concerned with human rights. Additionally, the daily chronology and weekly report was relied on as a primary source of information for those interested in following the political and social conditions within El Salvador.
This work led to the investigation known as "The Index to Accountability." The Index to Accountability is a database containing information on human rights violations and their perpetrators throughout the decade of the 80s. The Index served as a key source of information for both the Ad-Hoc and Truth Commissions, and the United Nations Mission Observers in El Salvador (ONUSAL). These commissions were established by the Peace Accords, signed by the Salvadoran government and the FMLN in 1992.
In 1993, in keeping with the new period of El Salvador' history, El Rescate's Human Rights Department decided to make their presence public, ending the years of carrying out their work in El Salvador clandestinely. Files, databases, equipment, etc. were moved to the office and a process was initiated to establish an autonomous and independent institution - Fundación Flor de Izote (FFI). The staff was increased and FFI underwent changes to fit into the new post-war situation.
Until this time, members of the direction of El Rescate and consequently FFI, had ties to the Resistencia Nacional RN, one of the five political parties of the FMLN. The new stage of El Salvador's history mentioned earlier, also brought about changes in the pact between the five parties which composed the FMLN. The parties divided and the former ERP and RN proclaimed themselves Social-Democrats and founded the Partido Democratico PD. Within both the ERP and RN some sectors announced their intention of continuing to stay within the FMLN.
This division has caused logical repercussions within El Rescate and FFI, leading to a debate over two issues: the political relationship and the institutional relationship. After much consideration FFI has reached the following conclusions:
In keeping with the above, FFI would like to clarify that we as an institution do not have "organic" ties with any political party. Moreover, while we have a shared history with El Rescate, this does not mean we necessarily share the same political vision. We are not their representatives in El Salvador nor are they our representatives in the U.S.
Our mission is to promote the construction of civil society, to strengthen ngo's, and to promote and protect the full range of human rights- (social, economic, political, civil, cultural, women's, etc. rights).