Despite growing complaints of human rights violations, President Nayib Bukele will ask the Salvadoran Congress to extend for the second time the "exception regime" in force since the end of March.
The Bukele-controlled Congress decreed the emergency regime after a wave of violence, in which 87 murders were recorded in one weekend. According to an investigation by El Faro, this escalation of violence occurred after the breaking of a pact between the government and the Mara Salvatrucha gang (MS13). So far, the Bukele administration has neither accepted nor rejected that information.
The exceptional regime suspends constitutional provisions related to issues such as freedom of assembly and association, the inviolability of correspondence and communications, and the right to defense.
On April 25, Congress approved a first extension of the exceptional regime, despite the fact that the Constitution states that a 30-day extension can only be authorized if the causes generating the declaration of exceptionality are in place. That extension, however, was no longer applicable since the escalation of murders was controlled in the first days of the state of exception.
Anyone who knows about role mothers have played in the fight for human rights in Latam will be jolted by these images.— Ivan Briscoe (@itbriscoe) May 24, 2022
Mothers and relatives crowd round a jail in El Salvador awaiting news of their loved ones, part of over 30,000 arrested in the country's "state of exception". https://t.co/qT8V2Rbcw5
The tweet reads, "Relatives of detainees during the emergency regime in El Salvador wait for information about their relatives outside the La Esperanza prison known as Mariona."
Human rights defenders Abraham pointed out that a further extension of the exception regime would be unconstitutional and would set up a "situation against humanity" in this Central American country. From the end of March to date, the NGO Cristosal has received over 700 complaints of human rights violations.
"We are in a situation where a possible scenario of crimes against humanity is already taking place. It is time to issue an early warning to the international community," former Human Rights Attorney David Morales said, warning that the Bukele administration has arrested people who are not gang members but are subjected "to serious suffering and State violence."
On Tuesday, hundreds of women from rural areas went to the capital to ask the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice for the release of their detained relatives, who were arbitrarily detained. Since the exception regime began, over 34,500 suspected gang members have been arrested, according to police data.