Investigation Amnesty International (AI) in El Salvador found that public authorities committed “serious violations of human rights” under the state of emergency in force since the end of March. The organization claims that at least 18 people died under state care within a little over two months of an emergency decree aimed at fighting gangs in the Central American country. This report is published when the fourth year of the presidency begins Naib Bukelewho delivered a speech to the nation on Wednesday night in which he declared that he was winning the “war on the gangs”.
Cases of torture and ill-treatment
“After interviewing victims and their relatives, representatives of human rights organizations, journalists, bailiffs, trade unionists and public figures, we came to the conclusion that here there is a situation of serious violations of human rights“, held Erica Guevara Rosasdirector of the Americas AI, during a press conference in San Salvador. Guevara Roses pointed out that in recent weeks, AI has “documented in detail 28 serious cases of human rights violations, corresponding to 35 people“.
Lawyer Guevara Rosas condemns cases of torture and ill-treatment in the country’s prisons
“Until May 28, at least 18 people died under the care of the state during the state of emergency. Given the harsh conditions in prisons, there are reasonable fears that the death toll could increase in the coming days,” he said. a lawyer who denounced “cases of torture and ill-treatment” in detention centers and prisons, in addition to indiscriminate arrests.
“The safest country in Latin America”
President Bukele assured this Wednesday evening that his country “very close to winning the gang war”, in a message to Congress broadcast on radio and television on the occasion of his third year in office. Bukele recalled that since the end of the civil war (1980-1992), gangs or maras have caused the death of at least 120 thousand people.
El Salvador, which has about 70,000 gang members, is struggling to break out of the list of countries with the highest number of murders in the world. After the murder of 87 people in the country from 25 to 27 March, Congress, controlled by the government’s allies and with Bukele’s approval, declared a state of emergency, which was extended by the Legislative Assembly.
Bukele on thousands of illegal arrests: “The country will turn from the most insecure in the world to the most secure in Latin America”
Bukele’s “war” with the gangs forced thousands of soldiers to patrol the streets and led in the last two months to prison without a court order more than 36,000 alleged maras members who join another 16,000 people already in prison. The president said that the actions taken by his government would transform the country from “the most insecure in the world to the safest country in Latin America” and cited as an example that only 17 murders were committed in the country in May. country.
“Populist and authoritarian”
Bukele’s performance drew sharp criticism from the opposition. General Secretary of the National Liberation Party Farabundo Marti (FMLN) Oscar Ortizsaid “populist and authoritarian processes age quickly and very badly”. “Later than soon, this dark period and its protagonists will have to be held accountable for their abuses, lawlessness, lies and mistakes,” the left leader wrote on his Twitter account.
For his part, the referent of the bench of the center-right Arena party, Rene Portillo Cuadraassured that Bukele “devoted himself to attacking the international community” and “never did he talk about projects or promises kept.”
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