Community News, El Salvador Government, events, News Highlights

THE LARGEST MARCH AGAINST NAYIB BUKELE’S GOVERNMENT

LEER EN ESPAÑOL

[Reuters]

On September 15, the same date as the Bicentennial commemoration of Central America’s independence, thousands of Salvadorans took to the streets of San Salvador to express their rejection of different political decisions recently made by the government of President Nayib Bukele.

“No to presidential re-election!”, “No to bitcoin!”, “No to militarization!”, “No to dictatorship!”, “No to corruption!” and “We demand respect for human rights!” were the most common messages seen on the banners carried by protesters.

But the most forcefully expressed demand, both on the banners and the loudspeakers, was the rejection of the adoption of bitcoin as legal tender in El Salvador. Last June, Bukele sent a proposal to the Legislative Assembly to adopt this cryptocurrency in the country. In response and without further analysis, the Assembly, controlled by the official party, approved a law that establishes that all economic agents must accept bitcoin as a form of payment.

On Tuesday, September 7, said law came into effect, despite its unpopularity. In a survey conducted by the Central American University (UCA) in August, 95.9% of the population believed that the adoption of bitcoin should be voluntary. This study also revealed that more than half of the population, 54.3%, believed that the prices of basic foodstuffs would increase with the introduction of bitcoin as legal tender. In addition, different social organizations expressed their concern over the fact that bitcoin is an extremely volatile cryptocurrency.

Protesters also showed their contempt for the dismissal of judges over 60 years of age. On September 1, the Legislative Assembly approved another controversial law, a reform to the law of the judicial career that establishes the mandatory retirement of judges who are 60 years of age or 30 years of service. Up until September 1, there was no age limit to be a judge.

According to the administration, the justification for this reform is the purification of the judicial system by removing corrupt judges, however many suggest that the hidden purpose is the control of the judicial body by the executive since the more than 200 vacant positions will be filled by judges aligned with the interests of the ruling party.

One of the judges to be dismissed under this reform, is Jorge Guzmán, the investigating judge of San Francisco Gotera, who is hearing the case of El Mozote, which is in its final stage.

According to David Morales, a notable victims’ and human rights attorney, “this dismissal of Judge Guzmán will directly affect the State’s obligation to carry out, without obstacles, the investigation and prosecution of those responsible for the massacre of El Mozote.”

Another clear reason for the protest was the resolution of the Constitutional Chamber, issued on September 3, which enables the re-election of the president.

“This decision allows immediate presidential re-election and is clearly contrary to the Salvadoran Constitution, which establishes that immediate re-election is not allowed,” remarked Jean Manes, ambassador to El Salvador (2016-2019) and who now heads the US diplomatic representation in the country.

On this same topic, Ricardo Navarro, a renowned environmentalist, during the march told the press: “Before there was a decent Constitutional Chamber, now there is a room that is a branch of the Presidency of the Republic.”

As expected, the march did not go unnoticed by the government. That same evening, the president spent a few minutes on radio and television networks attempting to downplay it, as his closest officials flooded the social networks with messages hoping to minimize the protest.

Despite the official narrative, the images speak for themselves. They show that this was the largest demonstration carried out against the Bukele administration. There is no doubt that despite citizen approval of the government remains high, decisions such as the bitcoin law, reforms to the judicial career law, and presidential re-election have activated the emotions and feelings of a good part of the citizenry, which this time legitimately expressed themselves in the streets.

Learn more at our upcoming Virtual Forum: Bitcoin in El Salvador and its Impacts


[El Faro]

LA MARCHA MÁS GRANDE CONTRA EL GOBIERNO DE NAYIB BUKELE

El pasado 15 de septiembre, la misma fecha en que se conmemoró el Bicentenario de la independencia de Centroamérica, miles de salvadoreños y salvadoreñas se tomaron las calles de San Salvador para manifestar su rechazo a diferentes decisiones políticas, tomadas por el gobierno del presidente Nayib Bukele, en los últimos meses.

“No a la reelección presidencial”, “no al bitcoin”, “no a la militarización”, “no a la dictadura”, “no a la corrupción” y “exigimos respeto a los derechos humanos” eran los mensajes más frecuentes en las pancartas que portaban los manifestantes.

Pero la demanda expresada con más fuerza, tanto en las pancartas como en los altavoces, era el rechazo a la adopción del bitcoin como moneda de curso legal en El Salvador. El pasado mes de junio Bukele envió una propuesta a la Asamblea Legislativa para adoptar esta criptomoneda en el país. En respuesta y sin mayor análisis la Asamblea, controlada por el partido oficial, aprobó una ley que establece que todos los agentes económicos deberán aceptar el bitcoin como forma de pago.

El martes 7 de septiembre entró en vigencia dicha ley, aún con el desacuerdo, mayoritariamente, de la población. En una encuesta realizada por la Universidad Centroamericana, en el mes de agosto, el 95.9% de la población opinó que el uso del bitcoin debería ser voluntario. Dicho estudio también revela que más de la mitad de la población, el 54.3%, sostiene que los precios de los productos básicos aumentarán con el uso del bitcoin como moneda de curso legal. Además, diferentes organizaciones sociales sostienen que se trata de una criptomoneda que tiene una extrema volatilidad.

También, se protestó contra la destitución de los jueces de más de 60 años de edad. El 01 de septiembre la Asamblea Legislativa aprobó otra polémica ley, una reforma a la ley de la carrera judicial que establece el retiro obligatorio de jueces que tengan 60 años de edad o 30 años de servicio. Hasta ahora no había límite de edad para ser juez.

El argumento para esta reforma es la depuración del sistema judicial apartando a los jueces corruptos; no obstante, hay reiteradas denuncias que el propósito oculto es el control del órgano judicial por parte del ejecutivo, pues las más de 200 plazas vacantes serán ocupadas por jueces alineados a los intereses del oficialismo.

Uno de los juzgadores que sería cesado con la entrada en vigencia de esta reforma es el juez de Instrucción de San Francisco Gotera, Jorge Guzmán, quien conoce el caso de El Mozote, el cuál se encuentra en su etapa final.

De acuerdo con David Morales, abogado de las víctimas y ex procurador de Derechos Humanos de El Salvador, esta separación del juez Guzmán directamente estará afectando la obligación del Estado de llevar adelante, sin obstáculos, la investigación y enjuiciamiento de los responsables de la masacre de El Mozote.

Otra fuerte razón de la protesta fue la resolución de la Sala de lo Constitucional, emitida el 03 de septiembre, en la que se habilita la reelección del presidente.

“Esta decisión permite la reelección presidencial inmediata y es claramente contraria a la Constitución salvadoreña, que establece que la reelección inmediata no está permitida”, expresó Jean Manes, embajadora en El Salvador entre 2016 y 2019 y quien ahora encabeza la representación diplomática estadounidense en el país.
Sobre este mismo tema, Ricardo Navarro, un reconocido ambientalista, durante la marcha expresó a la prensa: “Antes había una Sala de lo Constitucional decente, ahora hay una sala que es una sucursal de la presidencia de la república”

Como era de esperar la marcha no pasó desapercibida para el gobierno, por la noche, el presidente dedicó algunos minutos, en una cadena de radio y televisión, para restarle importancia, así mismo sus funcionarios más cercanos inundaron las redes sociales de mensajes con el propósito de minimizar la protesta.

Pero las imágenes muestran claramente que fue la manifestación más grande realizada contra la administración Bukele y aunque la aprobación ciudadana al gobierno sigue siendo alta, no hay duda que las decisiones como la ley bitcoin, las reformas a la ley de la carrera judicial y la reelección presidencial han activado emociones y sentimientos de una buena parte de la ciudadanía, que esta vez se expresó legítimamente en las calles.

Aprende más en nuestro próximo Foro Virtual: Bitcoin en El Salvador y sus impactos

human rights, News Highlights, Sexual and Reproductive Health, women & girls, Womens issues

Marchando por los Derechos y Vidas de las Mujeres y las Niñas

Nos unimos a la Red de Mujeres de Morazán, grupos de jóvenes y otras organizaciones solidarias para conmemorar el Día Internacional de la Eliminación de la Violencia contra las Mujeres y Niñas y exigir justicia para las innumerables víctimas de violencia de género a nivel individual, comunitario, estatal y nacional en El Salvador.

Marching for the Rights and Lives of Women and Girls

We joined the Women’s network of Morazan, Youth groups  and other solidarity organizations to commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls and to demand justice for the countless victims of gender violence at an individual, community, state and national level in El Salvador. 


Follow ‘La Red’ on Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/rcdmm.morazan.7

Equality, Uncategorized, women & girls

Protecting and Preventing Acts of Violence Against Women in Morazán

El Salvador’s recently held mid-term elections on March 4, saw a staggering overturn of political power as right-wing parties overtook the senate and major municipal seats in San Salvador, La Libertad and Santa Ana; and much could be said about the ‘debacle.’ At the same time, human rights defenders and survivors are celebrating the exoneration and release of two Salvadoran women unjustly incarcerated in for miscarriages many years ago.

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Last year, El Salvador experienced 3,605 homicides, a 1,675 reduction from 2016. As multitudes rise up in outrage against the country’s oppressive justice system and high rate of gender-based violence, El Salvador continues to be one of the most dangerous countries to be a woman.

2017 National Statistics
graph-1.png(source ORSMUSA)

More troubling is that the factual number of violent cases against Salvadoran women and girls are most certainly much higher than the statistics represented above because victims do not report becasue of fear of retribution and impunity. It is important to note that the majority of these victims suffer abuse in their own homes at the hand of men most close to them.

2018 Women’s March in San Salvadoroutput_mOcplO

Silvia Juárez, program coordinator for the Organization of Salvadoran Women for Peace  in El Salvador (ORMUSA) stated that women “are still not equal. The profound root of violence against women is inequality. We are considered human beings of less value.” On the eve of International Women’s day, a vigil was held in San Salvador and on March 8, over 3,000 marchers took to the streets to protest the country’s widespread inequality and violence against women. Their demands were simple: dignity and respect for all women and reforms to the healthcare and judicial systems.

That same day in Morazán, 600 protestors marched through the streets of San Francisco Gotera, confronting important judicial courts and even the town hall, while chanting slogans like “We don’t want flowers, we want justice!”

In 2016, 176 cases of domestic violence and 72 acts of sexual violence were reported in Morazán. According to the Citizen Network of Morazán Women (the Network), though down from the 14 official reports in 2016, five cases of femicide were invisibilizedthis year. The Network consists of 8 municipal associations scattered throughout the department with the mutual objective of promoting and defending the human rights of women. They accomplish their goals through combining unity, education and protest.

Women’s Day in Morazán, 2018output_jBLsBe

Gender-based violence is so prevalent in Morazán that it has led to the Network and other local organizations to begin to develop a community based approach to facilitate the recovery of victims and their families by educating communities and service providers, offering victims immediate and long-term support, and holding relevant  institutions accountable. Fortunately, this interrelationship of Morazán leaders exemplifies a support network of local women who can identify effective solutions to support victims of violence and their families in resource-constrained settings.

Click here for more information about the Network’s initiative and ways you can help.

The time is now.