Thursday, February 2, 2023

El Salvador: they march on the anniversary of the agreements and against Bukele

SAN SALVADOR ( Associated Press) – Several hundred opponents of Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele’s government marched through the capital on Sunday to mark another anniversary of the signing of a peace accord that ended a 12-year civil war (1980-1992). Gave and condemned what they are doing. Consider it a democratic setback in the Central American country.

Demonstrators took to main streets and concentrated in the historic center of San Salvador. Sonia Urrutia, one of the leaders of the left-wing Bloc de Resistencia y Rebeldia Popular, told reporters that they were demonstrating on the 31st anniversary of the agreements, but to reject measures promoted by Bukele to combat gangs and the possibility that The ruler wants a second term.

Urrutia denounced that the government tried to block the march by placing police and soldiers checkpoints at access points to the capital, although no uniformed officers were seen near or following the march. According to press reports, searches were conducted of people who were taken on collective buses to verify that they were not carrying weapons.

Ronal Amana, a veteran politician who now seeks to lead a broad opposition party to compete in the 2024 presidential elections, said he is getting the support of the people “in spite of the maneuvers that this man (Bukele) uses”. Doing, terrorism, people in fear to maintain.

Several unions and civil society organizations participated in the march, including relatives of those detained during the emergency regime, who demanded their release on assurances that they had no gang ties.

In a message to his comrades in the opposition struggle, environmental leader Ricardo Navarro assured that with Bukele’s policies the country was returning to the past and affirmed that “he is condemning us to a new war.”

“We are not asking for a coup, we are asking to consolidate the state,” Navarro insisted that if Bukele sought the re-election of the president, “the constitution compels us to revolt”. is, and we are compelled by the citizens and the military.” , The president should reflect because this could lead us to a new war,” he said.

Organizers of the march expected over 200,000 people to gather but the response was minimal.

At Bukele’s request, the Salvadoran Congress recently approved a tenth extension of the state of emergency to fight the maras, or gangs, which authorities consider responsible for most of the crimes committed in the country. The government warned that this measure would continue until the last gang members were removed from the streets.

According to critics, the emergency regime limits freedom of association, suspends a person’s right to be duly informed of their rights and the grounds for arrest, as well as the assistance of a lawyer.

The measure increases the period of preventive detention from 72 hours to 15 days and allows authorities to intercept the correspondence and cell phones of people they consider suspicious.

So far under the emergency regime, authorities have detained 61,300 people, mostly accused of being part of criminal structures or collaborating with gangs. But of these, 3,313 people detained till January 3 were released because, according to the authorities, the correct links with criminal groups could not be established.

Human rights organizations have condemned repeated violations and abuses of rights under this state of emergency, and claim to have documented the deaths of at least 90 people in custody.

So far in 2023, El Salvador has recorded six homicides, including an alleged gang member killed in a shootout with authorities. According to official figures, there has been no death due to the homicidal violence for nine days.

Authorities say so-called maras, or gangs with a presence in populated communities and neighborhoods in the country, are involved in drug trafficking and organized crime. In addition, they extort money from merchants and transport companies and kill those who refuse to pay.

Nation World News Desk
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