State of Exception extended -- what it has meant so far
Tonight, with little discussion of whether conditions still merited an emergency decree and whether mistakes or abuses had taken place, El Salvador's Legislative Assembly passed an extension of the "State of Exception" for another period of thirty days. According to the PNC, more than 16,000 persons alleged to be gang members have been detained during the first four weeks of the State of Exception.
Here is a set of articles in the English language press about the past four weeks in El Salvador under the State of Exception.
As El Salvador arrests thousands, families search for the missing -- Washington Post -- "The other women in line at El Penalito told stories of how their sons were arrested — in raids on their homes, while selling fruit in downtown San Salvador or working on construction sites, while walking home from the bus. In a country where thousands disappeared during the civil war of the 1980s, and thousands more vanished during a surge in gang violence that began in 2014, the arrests have prompted the kind of frantic search that for some Salvadorans feels familiar."
‘All Salvadorans at risk’: Inside El Salvador’s gang crackdown - Al Jazeera -- "Human rights groups have raised alarm at the intensity of President Nayib Bukele’s mass arrests and intensifying criminalization of critics, including journalists, saying it is the latest example of his push to rapidly consolidate power since he took office in 2019."
El Salvador president’s mass arrests ‘punitive populism’ - AP -- "President Nayib Bukele has responded to the surge in gang killings with mass arrests in poor neighborhoods like San Jose El Pino, each day posting the growing arrest total and photos of tattooed men. The highly publicized roundups are not the result of police investigations into the murders in late March, but propel a tough-on-crime narrative that critics are calling 'punitive populism'."
El Salvador NGOs challenge criminalisation of gang reporting -- Al Jazeera -- "A group of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in El Salvador has asked the country’s judiciary to declare as unconstitutional recent law reform that journalists have warned could criminalize reporting on gangs. The reform, pushed by President Nayib Bukele, was passed by the country’s legislature on April 6 and allows prison sentences of up to 15 years for reproducing or transmitting information related to criminal gangs 'that could generate anxiety and panic among the general population'."
Rights Commission urges El Salvador to respect rights -- AP -- "The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights called on the government of El Salvador Thursday to respect human rights, after authorities declared a state of emergency and rounded up 14,000 suspected gang members."Imprisoning children: How El Salvador’s adults fail young people involved in gangs -- Global Voices -- "[C]hildren from 12 to 16 years old may now receive a 10-year sentence and serve in adult prisons as part of recent legislative changes to curb crime in the country. ... [T]ough-on-crime policies, especially those aimed at children, do not work — especially in a country with generations of torn community and family relationships."
Opinión: Bukele me convirtió en un pandillero por mi trabajo como investigador -- Juan Martinez D'Aubuisson in the Washington Post -- "En 11 líneas el presidente y sus seguidores condenaron mi trabajo, pusieron en riesgo a mis fuentes y colocaron una diana peligrosa sobre mi cabeza al meterme en esa categoría —que tan bien han construido— de “enemigo del pueblo”. Bukele me convirtió en un pandillero."