SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador—Rights groups are calling on El Salvador to investigate the 1981 army massacre of about 1,000 people at El Mozote. Judiciary officials say cases could be opened despite a 1980s amnesty law.

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights says El Salvador should reopen its investigation into the civil war-era massacre, and pay restitution to the victims' relatives.

Chief Justice Martin Rogel of the country's third circuit court says a judge could "declare the amnesty law does not apply" to the case, if prosecutors were to bring charges for crimes against humanity.

El Salvador's Foreign Ministry said in a statement Tuesday it recognizes the Inter-American court's ruling and noting "the victims and their families have the right to moral and economic reparation."

In 2011 the Salvadoran government apologized for the massacre.