The president of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, affirmed this Wednesday that his country is about to win the war against the gangswhich it holds responsible for most of the crimes against the Salvadoran population.
“I am here to tell everyone something that many thought was impossible: we are about to win the war against the gangs,” Bukele said during his third-year report to Congress.
The president’s report was presented in full Exception statuswhich was approved by Congress after registering 62 homicides on March 26.
From March 27when the state of exception was decreed, authorities say they have captured 36,277 suspected gang members, in a country of only 6.5 million inhabitants.
According to official information, judges have ordered provisional detention against 25,855 people accused of crimes, such as homicide, extortion, possession of weapons, illicit grouping or collaborating with gangs.
What does the state of exception imply?
The state of exception limit freedom of association and suspends the right of a person to be duly informed about their rights and reasons for arrestas well as to receive the assistance of a lawyer.
In addition, it extends the period of administrative detention from 72 hours to 15 days and allows the authorities to seize the correspondence and cell phones of those they consider suspicious.
human rights activists who have denounced abuses by the security forces and they say they documented more than 500 arbitrary captures, They rejected the extension of the emergency measures, since they claim it violates the constitution.
However, several surveys, including the University Institute of Public Opinion (Iudop) of the José Simeón Cañas Central American University (UCA), say that more than 80% of the population approves of the emergency regime and the fight against gangs.
The same surveys indicate that, despite criticism from human rights defenders and the international community, Bukele celebrates his third year of government with a popularity of more than 80%.
In his report, broadcast to the nation on state radio and television, Bukele affirmed that El Salvador is very close to living a new reality that has been denied for decades, “to have a country without gangs“.
He assured that the gangs controlled 80% of the territory and that they had judges and prosecutors at their orders: “They had facilities to do what they wanted.”
The president’s speech was interrupted several times by his supporters, who occupied the second floor of the room and shouted “Nayib, friend, the people are with you.”
Highlighting the achievements of his government, which began on June 1, 2019, he maintained that no one can deny that in three years “We have taken away from the powers that be their authority and we have given it to the peopleas I promised”.
Bukele took the opportunity to attack organizations and the international communitywho have denounced serious human rights violations during the emergency regime, and pointed out that: “Today they have to know that El Salvador is a sovereign country, here we are going to make the decisions that we consider correct for us and the future.”
El Salvador Nayib Bukele Gangs Crime Security Arrests Police Prisons Mara Salvatrucha