What to read this weekend

There is a wealth of coverage of El Salvador available in English this week on a potpourri of topics:

Why is this Chicago cop training police in El Salvador? (Chicago Reader) --  "ITTA is a small police training company founded in Chicago that has trained more than 600 officers in El Salvador. That's problematic given the behavior of some of the U.S. officers running the program."

El Salvador president gains most from prosecution of rivals (InsightCrime) -- "The evidence used to indict several high-ranking politicians in El Salvador for negotiating with gangs has been around for years, raising questions about why prosecutors are bringing the cases now, and what President Nayib Bukele stands to gain."

Challenges after an Attempted Self-coup in El Salvador (El Faro English) -- "Bukele sees himself above the norms of his job, as well as free of legal formalities. He was set on demonstrating that his political experiment isn’t tied down to any rules. He holds the power, and walks hand-in-hand with the Armed Forces and the Police."

The Ministry of Make Believe (El Faro English) -- "What do you call it when the president of a country deploys heavily armed soldiers and police inside the Legislative Assembly, threatens to dissolve the Assembly if lawmakers don’t do as he says, and then claims to have conferred directly with god?  If you’re El Salvador’s Nayib Bukele—who did all of the above and more on February 9—you call it “respect[ing] the separation of powers.”

What Is Behind Bukele’s Display of Military Force? (Latin America Advisor) -- Answers to the question provided by Mari Carmen Aponte, Yulia Vorobyeva, and Tiziano Breda.

San Salvador and Beirut: A Tale of Two Postwar Spaces—and an Ongoing War on Public Space (El Faro English) -- "Now, forty years after the start of El Salvador’s devastating 12-year civil war, during which more than 75,000 people were killed, one of the root causes of the conflict—egregious socioeconomic inequality—is still rampant. The upper classes fortify their residences and businesses against the violence outside, but in doing so help perpetuate a system that effectively criminalizes poverty and obliterates the possibility of societal reconciliation."

Canda: the other imperial power in Latin America (El Faro English) -- "Catering even more blatantly to mining interests, Ottawa has long refused to hold mining corporations accountable on home soil for abuses committed abroad. Instead, the industry has enjoyed a consequences-free self-regulatory environment under a model of voluntary corporate social responsibility. "

I Exist!  (Breena Nuñez at The Nib) -- "Many from El Salvador insist that it’s the only Central American country without Black people. But I’m asserting my Afro-Salvadoran identity."

Stripped of basic human dignity’: Inside El Salvador’s prisons (Washington Post) -- photos from inside some of El Salvador's notorious prisons holding gang members.   While it is not popular in El Salvador to say it, even the worst criminals have human rights to be free of cruel and inhumane treatment.  These photos should be put next to the photos of other Salvadoran prisons where, in fact, the country is making progress on conditions of incarceration.

Pope clears way for beatification of Salvadoran Jesuit, companions (Catholic News Service) --  "The Vatican announced Feb. 22 that Pope Francis has recognized the martyrdom of a fellow Jesuit, Salvadoran Father Rutilio Grande, and two companions who were murdered en route to a novena in 1977 in El Salvador.  Papal recognition of their martyrdom clears the way for their beatification, although the Vatican did not announce a date for the ceremony."


"Why is this Chicago cop training police in El Salvador?"

Because Rudi Giuliani is too busy!