US State Department Human Rights Report on El Salvador

The United States State Department today released its 2022 human rights reports for countries around the world.    With respect to El Salvador, the report is blunt:

Significant human rights issues included credible reports of: unlawful or arbitrary killings, forced disappearances; torture and cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment by security forces; harsh and life-threatening prison conditions; arbitrary arrest and detention; serious problems with the independence of the judiciary; arbitrary or unlawful interference with privacy; serious restrictions on free expression and media, including censorship and threats to enforce criminal laws to limit expression; serious government corruption; lack of investigation and accountability for gender-based violence; significant barriers to accessing sexual and reproductive health services; and crimes involving violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex individuals. 

You can read the entire report here.


Yet the Biden Administration continues to argue that it is safe to return asylum seekers to El Salvador. Here are a few arguments against this found in the DOS report:

Media and human rights groups reported that nongovernment-related disappearances, which they and the families of those disappeared attributed to gang violence, continued to occur on a regular basis

On May 19, the international division of the Swiss Broadcasting Society reported the leading forensic expert in the Prosecutor’s Office had acknowledged on several occasions that if a person spent more than eight days missing, there was a high probability the person had been killed and buried in a clandestine grave.

The law against domestic violence was poorly enforced, and violence against women, including domestic violence, remained a widespread and serious problem.

Violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex (LGBTQI+) persons was widespread.