Persecution of the press in El Salvador

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The President of El Salvador, Here’s to watching, enjoys high popularity in the midst of the health crisis that has caused some 29,000 infections and 830 deaths from covid-19. A recent survey by the Francisco Gavidia University (UFG) reports that if the legislative elections were held this year, Nuevas Ideas, the ruling party, would reach 50% of the vote. Only 13% of those interviewed think that Bukele is “authoritarian“.

Shielded by these opinions, the president challenges sectors of the press, the “selective feminists“and the organisms human rights. “Do you realize that when they say that they do uncomfortable journalism, that when you mess with one, you mess with all of them, that they just want to protect human rights, is it really a farce?” .

Bukele’s rhetorical darts have become a constant when the parliamentary and municipal elections are almost half a year away. The president disputes with Parliament or justice. He has just come out in defense of Armed forces after the decision to prevent the courts from accessing the military archives related to one of the bloodiest episodes of the civil war of the eighties, the El Mozote massacre, which caused nearly 1,000 deaths, was questioned.

The president of the Association of Journalists of El Salvador (APES), Angelica Cárcamo, denounces that the president has launched a campaign of “worrying political persecution” against the digital newspapers El Faro, which he linked to money laundering, Gato Encerrado and Factum. APES, he noted, has registered 87 conflict situations throughout the year. If this trend grows, “we will have journalists in jail for crimes not committed. “

For now, the situation in El Faro is the most pressing. “It is unfortunate that the president instead of presenting evidence is launched to defamation or speak on behalf of the prosecution & rdquor ;, Cárcamo told EL PERIÓDICO DE CATALUNYA. “The Treasury is auditing the accounting exercises of El Faro without having notified those responsible for this investigation. How can that be interpreted?” She asked in a telephone conversation.

For Cárcamo, Bukele himself is a prisoner of his statements. “I can only be surprised when he says that in El Salvador no journalist has died during his tenure. Would it be necessary to reach those circumstances?”

Negotiations with the gangs

El Faro has no doubts that the fence of the Treasury is a “political” response to the revelation of the furtive negotiations that the Government is carrying out with the gang Mara Salvatrucha (MS13). “The reduction of homicides was agreed and prison benefits and electoral support for New Ideas were discussed in 2021,” he denounced. The country had 36 violent deaths per 100,000 inhabitants in 2019.

During the first half of this year, it reduced that rate by 62%, according to official figures. El Faro assures that there is a “promise” from the Executive to the Mara of “soften the maximum security regime, repeal laws and grant benefits if the Government gains control of the legislative branch after the February elections. “

Tension with a sector of the press has intensified in recent months to the point that a dozen congressmen and senators from the United States Democratic Party have expressed their “alarm” over the “attacks.” According to the coordinator of the University Institute of Public Opinion of the Central American University (IUDOP), Laura Andrade, Bukele tries to “enhance polarization“And that is why it has turned some media and academia into selective targets.

Against feminists

The feminist movement is also often at the center of its ironies. “After a year in office, the absence and indifference towards women prevail, as it has shown disregard for equality policies and misogynistic behavior“recalled the Nélida Anaya Montes Women’s Movement Association about the first 365 days of Government.

Farabundo Martí Front for National Liberation (FMLN, opposition) also expressed their rejection in the style of Bukele. “He should stop confrontation, division and disqualification,” said his secretary general, Oscar Ortiz. “We have achieved what the Peace Accords did not achieve, which is to unite ARENA (right) and the FMLN,” the president scoffed.



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