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New Human Rights Commissioner defends ‘extreme measures’ against gangs in El Salvador



Andrés Guzmán, Presidential Commissioner for Human Rights

Andrés Guzmán, Presidential Commissioner for Human Rights

El Salvador’s new human rights commissioner, Colombian lawyer Andrés Guzmán, defended on Friday the “extreme measures” taken by the Naïb Boucle government against gangs that killed less, but were targeted by humanitarian groups. It’s becoming

Guzmán was appointed Wednesday by El Salvador’s president to lead a campaign to jail gang members amid a state of emergency that allows arrests without warrants.

“Exceptional conditions exist and exceptional conditions require exceptional measures,” Guzmán told Colombian radio station Blue Radio.

Asked about photos of hundreds of prisoners crammed into prisons, Guzman said: “In all wars around the world, there are usually dead people on one side and the other. This makes the social phenomenon exceptional.” It’s a war that can be controlled in a state of emergency,” he added. ”.

No country has ever had a war like El Salvador (…) Such a process requires extreme measures. ”
Andrés Guzmán, Presidential Commissioner for Human Rights

International human rights organizations have questioned the unusual regime, which has been in place since May 2022 at the request of administrative authorities. The NGO Human Rights Watch has repeatedly warned of serious violations, including arbitrary arrests, enforced disappearances, and deaths in custody.

At least 68,000 suspected gang members have been arrested since the measures began, according to Ministry of Justice and Security statistics.

“There are so many people here who don’t know their neighbors because they are too scared to leave their homes (…) what happened,” Guzman said.

Nine out of 10 Salvadorans support the government’s actions against gangs, according to a survey, despite international criticism and criticism from the Catholic Church.

According to official statistics, El Salvador had 106.3 murders per 100,000 inhabitants in 2015, rising to 7.8 in 2022.

Mr. Guzman is also an expert in technology and communication issues. On Friday, he was questioned about allegations of persecution of the media, including El Faro, whose executive branch moved to Costa Rica on April 13, for “attacks on press freedom” in El Salvador.

“There are no rules preventing the spread of information and journalists’ freedoms have not been suspended or taken away,” he told W Radio.

Source: Diario Elmundo

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