Since the president of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele declared “war” on gang members to contain the raging wave of violence in his country, the authorities have arrested 30,506 criminalsPolice reported Monday.
“536 terrorists were captured on Sunday, May 15, the date on which 50 days of the emergency regime were completed. Total captures since the war against gangs began is 30,506,” the National Civil Police (PNC) shared on Twitter.
After the murder of 87 people between March 25 and 27, crimes that the authorities attribute to criminal organizations, Bukele declared “war” on the gangs that operate in his territory.
The security offensive, backed by an exceptional regime decreed by Congress on March 27 at the request of the president, has detained —without a court order— the gang members, who since March 28 stopped the scale of homicides.
On April 26, a 30-day extension of the emergency regime came into force, a measure that also restricts freedom of association, the right to defense, and that extends the term of detentions while investigations are carried out and allows communications to be intercepted.
The congress also approvedat the beginning of April, a reform to punish gang members with up to 45 years in prison.
El Salvador suffers the siege of the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and Barrio 18among others, which add up to 70,000 members, of which —with the arrest offensive— more than 46,000 are incarcerated.
The emergency regime receives criticism from different humanitarian organizations for the massive detention of young people without due process.
Salvadoran Vice President Félix Ulloa justified on May 5 —before delegates from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)— the right of the State to maintain the offensive against the gangs.
“The Salvadoran State is assisted by Jus ad Bellum to defend the people from the criminal violence of gangs (…). Jus ad Bellum is the branch of humanitarian law that defines the legitimate reasons that a State has to wage war legitimately and fairly,” said Ulloa.
El Salvador Nayib Bukele Gang Members Crime Mara Salvatrucha Barrio 18 Prison