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HRW Blasts El Salvador’s Violent Crackdown on Poor People as Part of Anti-Gang Policy

HeadlineDec 09, 2022

A new report by Human Rights Watch condemns ongoing abuses under El Salvador’s state of exception, enacted nearly one year ago by President Nayib Bukele to address gang violence. Security forces are accused of mass arbitrary arrests and detentions, forced disappearances, and torture. Salvadoran authorities have targeted low-income neighborhoods with indiscriminate raids, arresting over 58,000 people, including more than 1,600 children. At least 90 people have died in police custody since the state of exception began in March. This is Juanita Goebertus, Americas director at Human Rights Watch.

Juanita Goebertus: “We are convinced that a security policy is needed to dismantle the gangs, but a policy based on the violation of human rights is not sustainable. A policy that simply concentrates on sending marginalized youths to jail without even the possibility of defending themselves and having their cases heard by a judge is not sustainable.”

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