Conflicts & War

Hundreds of Salvadorans march on eve of peace agreement anniversary

San Salvador, Jan 15 (EFE).- Hundreds of Salvadorans demonstrated Sunday against the president running for re-election, the state of emergency and arbitrary captures on the eve of the anniversary of the 1992 peace accords.

On Monday, El Salvador commemorates the 31st anniversary of the signing of the peace accords that put an end to 12 years of war (1980-1992). The historic event is not recognized by the government of President Nayib Bukele, so there will be no official acts to commemorate that date.

The commemoration also occurs as the Central American country is under a state of emergency, implemented by the Bukele government to “combat” gangs. The measure has violated human rights, according to various national and international organizations.

Bukele said on Sep. 15, 2021 that he will seek re-election in 2024, an announcement questioned by lawyers, human rights defenders, the main union of private companies, and also protesters.

Ivania Cruz, spokesperson for the Committee of Families of Political Prisoners of El Salvador, said she attended the march to “defend democracy, human rights and so that we do not allow a re-election to consolidate the dictatorship that is currently ruling the country.”

“Today we are taking to the streets (…) because there is no trust in any institution in the country under the current president Nayib Bukele and the clan that governs this country,” she told reporters.

“It is an insult to state that the peace accords were a farce when thousands of people died and there is impunity for many cases that occurred.”

Reynaldo Santos, whose 20-year-old son was captured on Dec. 20 in the context of the state of emergency, told EFE that his participation in the march was to “express myself about the injustices taking place, above all because of the arrests of innocent people with no criminal record” and said that “the rights of innocent people are being greatly violated.”

According to the government, under the state of emergency more than 61,300 alleged gang members have been detained, but more than 3,300 people have been released by order of the Prosecutor’s Office and the courts.

Humanitarian organizations and the Office for the Defense of Human Rights have registered more than 7,400 complaints of abuses by the authorities and security forces.

“Atrocities are being committed based on the emergency regime, capturing innocent people without ties to these groups (gangs) and without having a criminal record (…) I ask for justice, freedom,” the man said.

Antonia Recinos denounced the “arbitrary capture” on Wednesday of two community leaders and three other people in the remote community of Santa Marta, in the department of Cabañas.

Recinos told EFE that the arrest represents “a direct attack (…) on those organizations that are decisively opposed to metal mining projects.”

“This is not an act to seek justice (…) the true intention of these events is clearly an attack and political revenge against our organized territories.” EFE


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