International Water Day in the streets of San Salvador
On this International Water Day, a march proceeded in the streets of San Salvador demanding that the country protect its water resource and that water not be privatized or put under the direction of business interests. The march headed towards the headquarters of the sugar cane trade association because the industrial sugar producers are one of the largest water exploiters in the country.
It was the second water march in three days. On Wednesday, the University of El Salvador ("UES") led marchers towards the National Assembly. The UES was protesting a legislative proposal approved in committee which would give private interests representation on a governing water board.
The UES march resulted in some protesters allegedly damaging property including automobiles and windows. Two protesters were taken into custody.
That is where Nayib Bukele got into the act tweeting:
Exijo a la @PNC_SV la inmediata liberación de los estudiantes de la @UESoficial que están detenidos.— Nayib Bukele (@nayibbukele) March 20, 2019
De lo contrario se abrirá un expediente a los involucrados a partir del 1 de junio.
I demand the immediate release of the students of the UES that are detained. If not, proceedings will be opened against those involved starting June 1 [when Bukele takes office].And then:
They have two hours to release the students.Needless to say, that tweet raised some eyebrows when a president-elect, who won't take office for more than two months yet, was issuing demands to the national police. The youth were not released within two hours, but they were released on Thursday.
The FMLN also came out in support of the UES water march. FMLN deputies came out of the National Assembly to greet the demonstrators and state their support, but the FMLN's reception was mixed at best. Many faulted the FMLN for having failed to act on a water law during years when it had much greater representation in the National Assembly.