The PDDH on Adrian

This is the third in my series of posts regarding Dr. Beatrice Carrillo, the Human Rights Ombudsman for El Salvador.

In the aftermath of tropical storm/hurricane Adrian, the office of the PDDH, issued a report concerning the government's handling of the storm. The report criticizes the government for unnecessarily creating a sense of alarm and panic in the country as the storm approached. The report suggests that evacuations were not done effectively and that conditions in evacuation centers were poor. The report also criticizes the decision to close the schools and to send public employees home.

While the PDDH recognizes that the government has an obligation to warn the citizenry of potential natural disasters and threats to persons and property, the report suggests that the proper balance was not maintained here. That is probably an easier charge to make in hindsight, than when the country was facing the approach of its first ever Pacific hurricane and with the still-vivid memories of Hurricane Mitch.

The report on the government's handling of Adrian is an example of the willingness of the office of the PDDH to speak out forcefully, even on issues which would not typically be labeled as human rights issues.


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