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Judi Lynn

(160,986 posts)
Wed May 15, 2024, 01:57 AM May 15

A Glimpse into El Salvador's 'state of exception'

The measure has been severely questioned by experts

Written by
Laura Chaparro Piedrahíta

Translated by
Laura Chaparro Piedrahita
Read this post in Español

The administration of El Salvador's president Nayib Bukele has been marked by the adoption of measures that restrict citizens’ fundamental freedoms, censor open and inclusive debate on public matters, and limit freedom of expression, association, and assembly. Additionally, there has been excessive interference in the regular functioning of state bodies. This situation worsened in March 2022 with the declaration of a state of emergency, initially for one month, but periodically extended until May 25, 2024.

How is the state of emergency experienced in El Salvador? What has been its impact on the population and the institutional handling of human rights?

The victims continue to wait for reparations
In 2019, the presidential campaign of the now-elected president was marked by a discourse replete with promises of effective solutions to some of the country's socio-political problems. This included a comprehensive agenda focused on the continuity of the transitional justice process underway in the country, intending to hold accountable those responsible for the gross human rights violations, providing reparations to the victims, and elucidating the truth of what happened between 1980 and 1992, a period in which the state was immersed in a complex internal armed conflict that left a death toll of over 75,000 civilians at the hands of the army and paramilitary forces.

Despite these promises, none of these measures have materialized since the president took office. Survivors and their families continue to struggle for recognition, justice, and reparations.

Furthermore, the implementation of permanent and regressive legal reforms related to human rights has unleashed an alarming crisis characterized by abuses and the excessive use of violence by authorities. Over the past few years, there have been numerous reports of cases of cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment of prisoners, deaths in state custody, judicial harassment of journalists and human rights defenders, and a lack of investigation to identify the perpetrators of these atrocities and determine the whereabouts of the victims of such abuses.

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