Since last March, the Salvadoran president has maintained a controversial state of emergency that he has called “war against gangs.”
The president of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, assured this Tuesday that his country went from being the most dangerous in the world to “the safest in Latin America”, an achievement that he attributed to his so-called “war against gangs”.
This security policy has intensified since last March, when Bukele asked Congress to decree a controversial state of emergency that allows arrests without judicial authorization and suspends some constitutional rights and freedoms.
Since then, according to data from the Salvadoran authorities, until the end of July, more than 46,000 suspected gang members were detained under this regime, and with it the figures for lethal violence have decreased significantly, to the point of registering several days without homicides.
The exceptional regime has been extended several times by the Salvadoran parliament. The most recent extension came into force on July 24 , after the Assembly voted by a large majority in favor of the measure that will be applied for another 30 days “to ensure the well-being of the population”.
However, Bukele’s security policy has been criticized by relatives of the detainees, who have staged protests and marches to denounce that “arbitrary arrests” have been carried out within the exceptional regime against “innocent people”, for which they demand their immediate release.
The alleged “arbitrary arrests” would have occurred in view of the fact that the state of exception provides for the suspension of freedom of association, of the right to defense, as well as the extension of the term of preventive incarceration and the interception of communications.
This situation has put international organizations on alert, which denounce alleged violations of human rights . The accusations have been repeatedly denied by the Salvadoran administration, which has even been open to possible verification by the UN.