US State Department Human Rights Report for El Salvador
Last month the US State Department issued its Human Rights Report for 2014 for El Salvador. The following is the Executive Summary:
El Salvador is a constitutional multi-party republic. In March voters elected Salvador Sanchez Ceren of the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) as president for a five-year term in generally free and fair elections. Free and fair legislative assembly and municipal elections took place in 2012. Authorities failed at times to maintain effective control over the security forces.
The principal human rights problems were widespread corruption; weaknesses in the judiciary and the security forces that contributed to a high level of impunity; and abuse, including domestic violence, discrimination, and commercial sexual exploitation of women and children.
Other human rights problems included isolated unlawful killings and cruel treatment by security forces, harsh and life-threatening prison conditions, lengthy pretrial detention, some restrictions on freedom of speech and press, trafficking in persons and human smuggling, including of unaccompanied children, and discrimination against persons with disabilities and persons with HIV/AIDS. There was also widespread discrimination and some violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons. Child labor and inadequate enforcement of labor laws also were problems.
Impunity persisted despite the government taking steps to dismiss some officials who committed abuses in the penitentiary system and within the police force.Read the entire report here.
With the dramatic increase in gang violence and the iron-fisted police and military response to it, I expect that the 2015 report will show a significant deterioration in the area of extra-judicial killings and cruel treatment by the security forces.