This week marks one year of El Salvador’s state of emergency. It has been extended in El Salvador 11 times. In only 12 months we have seen countless human rights violations, increased militarization and the construction of one of the largest prisons in the world. All under the guise of protecting the people.
Over 65,000 people have been arrested on gang-related charges, including children as young as 12. Thousands have been arbitrarily detained, some just on the basis of having tattoos, wearing the wrong cap, or just living in a poor neighborhood. Over 120 people have died in custody.
What is Happening Now?
This week, we need you to ask your members of Congress to contact the State Department and urge our government to press President Bukele to restore rights. El Salvador–like our own country–needs a more balanced approach to address the serious problem of gang violence, including rights-respecting security, thorough investigations and prosecutions, prevention, and rehabilitation of former gang members. You can call and tell your representative and senators to speak out!
What You Can Do!
Please call your representatives and senators to urge them to register their concerns about the erosion of rights in El Salvador.
“My name is [YOUR NAME], and I’m a constituent from [YOUR CITY OR AREA]. I am calling to urge [REPRESENTATIVE/SENATOR] to speak out against what is happening in El Salvador. El Salvador has been under a state of emergency for over a year, during which time there have been countless human rights violations, with massive arbitrary detentions, 65,000 people including children detained, and people dying in prison for lack of access to health care. Please urge the State Department to ask President Bukele to restore rights and end this inhumane policy. Thank you for considering my concerns.”
Yadira for the LAWG team—Lisa, Ana, and Yadira