The Congress of The Savior Tuesday extended for the third consecutive time a controversial state of emergency to combat violent gangs in the Central American nation, amid complaints from organizations for alleged human rights violations within the framework of the provision.
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After a historic rise in homicides at the end of March, President Nayib Bukele asked legislators to approve an exceptional regime that suspends constitutional guarantees such as freedom of association, the right to defense, the term of detention and the inviolability of correspondence. .
The new extension of these measures, which will be for 30 days, was approved by the Salvadoran legislature, dominated by groups related to Bukele, with 67 votes in favor and 15 against.
“We are determined to support not just one more (extension), but those that are necessary at the request of the Government, because it is what the population is asking for,” Christian Guevara, head of the ruling New Ideas party faction, told the press. .
In the three months of implementation of the strategy, endorsed in surveys by 70% of Salvadorans, security forces have arrested more than 41,300 people for allegedly belonging to or collaborating with gangs.
In mid-May, Reuters reported that, in the midst of the state of emergency, the public force detained dozens of innocent people accused of belonging to gangs to meet arrest quotas imposed by their superiors.
“The exceptional regime at this point has no constitutional basis, the extensions are unconstitutional, there is no motivation or constitutional reason why the regime should continue to be extended,” lawyer Abraham Ábrego, of the Central American organization Cristosal, told reporters. which has denounced the death of 46 arrested.
In his first months in office, Bukele drastically reduced the number of homicides, earning him unprecedented success. However, last year it became known that the figure had been achieved after furtive meetings with gang leaders in exchange for prison benefits.