Salvadorans March Against Bukele On Independence Day

Salvadorans March Against Bukele On Independence Day

While the government of President Nayib Bukele celebrated El Salvador’s 201 years of independence with a civic and military parade, opposition groups marched to demand the end of the emergency regime and the violation of human rights.

The government parade, attended by thousands of people, began with the musical band from the Military School accompanied by elite troops from the Armed Forces and the police, followed by musical groups from schools in the capital.

Air Force planes and helicopters carried out exercises in the sky of the Salvadoran capital while officials from the Security Cabinet, who arrived in the area, shook hands with people and took pictures.

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The elite forces of the Army and the police carried out simulated demonstrations of their operations against the criminal groups and paraded with their combat teams.

“The decisions we have made brought us to this moment… This September 15, we celebrate the Day of Our True Independence,” Bukele said on his official Twitter account.

Meanwhile, the opposition groups, mostly from the left, gathered at three points in the city to tour the main streets and conclude with a rally in the historic center of San Salvador.

Sonia Urrutia, one of the leaders of the opposition Popular Resistance Block, told reporters that the people were protesting the serious deterioration of the economy and the dangerous setback in democratic institutions.

Urrutia denounced government maneuvers to try to prevent them from gathering and marching to express discontent against Bukele.

“The president is wanting to stop the large mobilizations with police and soldier checkpoints and we want to tell Bukele that they are not going to stop us. Here there is a clear reality, the deterioration of life is palpable, there is no work and young people prefer to migrate”, said Urrutia.

Caveat

Stanley Quinteros, deputy coordinator of the Alianza Nacional El Salvador en Paz, which was marching in rejection of the emergency regime, warned that the government “is not going to be able to stop the people’s protests.”

“People have lost their fear, people ask for justice and freedom for those who are detained in prisons and who continue to die,” he added.

“Today I walk with the people, I walk with the people who demand real solutions to injustice, to the cost of living, to insecurity,” said deputy Claudia Ortiz, from the opposition conservative party VAMOS and who some see as a future candidate. presidential.

The organizers of the protests expected to gather more than 1,200 people, but the response was minimal and upon reaching the historic center they divided into two, one group stayed in front of the metropolitan cathedral and the war veterans went to Libertad Park where they held a rally .

At the request of President Bukele, Congress approved on Wednesday a sixth extension of the emergency regime to continue fighting the gangs, which he blames for most of the crimes committed in the Central American country. The government warned that it will continue with the measure until the last gang member is removed from the streets.

Irregularities

Oppositionists and human rights organizations have denounced repeated irregularities, including arbitrary arrests and violations of due process.

The state of emergency limits freedom of association and suspends the right of a person to be duly informed of their rights and reasons for arrest, as well as the assistance of a lawyer. It also extends the term of preventive detention from 72 hours to 15 days and allows the authorities to seize the correspondence and cell phones of those they consider suspicious.

So far in the emergency regime, the authorities have captured 52,549 people, most of them accused of being part of criminal structures or collaborating with gangs.

The president of Congress, Ernesto Castro, who also participated in the government parade, pointed out that according to the latest surveys, crime has decreased for 80% of the population and that 95% of citizens are in favor of security measures. . People want to “live in peace and freedom,” he said.

The gangs, which have an estimated 70,000 members, have a presence in populous neighborhoods and communities in the country and are involved in drug trafficking and organized crime. They also extort merchants and transport companies and kill those who refuse to pay, according to authorities.

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