El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele
Why El Salvador Has The Strictest Abortion Laws In The World -

Despite the reported human rights abuses and violations happening under the nine-month gang crackdown in El Salvador, the country’s Congress has voted on Wednesday to extend President Nayib Bukele’s emergency powers for another month to continue the mass crackdown.

The El Salvador Congress has extended the emergency powers given to Bukele for the ninth time since March, after gangs in the country were blamed for the murder of 62 people within a single weekend near the end of the month, according to the Associated Press.

The anti-gang crackdown has been popular with the general public in El Salvador in spite of evidence of human rights abuses from the government, with recent polls showing that close to 90% of the country’s citizens approve of the crackdown, the Washington Post reported.

Over 60,000 people have been arrested since the crackdown began, with human rights activists and groups saying that many of those were arrested due to their age, appearance, or address of residence in a gang-dominated slums.

Human rights organizations have also said that there have been at least 80 custody deaths since the crackdown began, as well as thousands of human rights violations inside the overcrowded prisons where the people are jailed.

Officials in the El Salvadoran government will reportedly be reviewing the current prison conditions that many of the arrested are staying at. Besides, Raquel Caballero, El Salvador’s human rights official, said that 2,100 people have been released due to lack of ties to local gangs.

The emergency powers granted to Bukele to implement the anti-gang operation included the suspension of the right of association, the right to be informed of the reason for an arrest, and the right to access a lawyer, as well as allowing the government to hold a suspect without charges from three days to 15 days.

The military and police had temporarily sealed off at least two cities to arrest gang members since the beginning of the crackdown, checking people’s papers as they leave while they reportedly hunted down alleged gang members in the area.

A soldier stands guard during the anti-gang operation in Soyapango
A soldier stands guard during the anti-gang operation in Soyapango, El Salvador, on December 3, 2022. Photo by: El Salvador's Presidency Press Office via AFP/Handout

© 2024 Latin Times. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.