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US ambassador to El Salvador calls for due process ‘as soon as possible’



U.S. Ambassador William Danquah and Defense Minister René Merino Monroy. The United States donated equipment.  / US Embassy.

U.S. Ambassador William Danquah and Defense Minister René Merino Monroy. The United States donated equipment. / US Embassy.

In a statement to television reporters about the state of emergency extended Tuesday by the Legislative Assembly, William Duncan, the U.S. ambassador to El Salvador, said he hoped security improvements would “be solidified,” but that “normalcy will continue.” “I strongly urge that the situation be returned to normal.” We will respond as quickly as possible based on due process of law. ”

“There is no question that some action was needed on the part of the government. But at the same time, the government has a responsibility to respect due process of law, and that is what is needed now in this emergency.” Stated.

The statement came after the diplomat participated in US donations to El Salvador’s military and the Ilopango mayor’s office.

One of the diplomat’s comments was in response to concerns expressed by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk at a Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva on Monday. about the “excessive duration” of the emergency regime, as well as the “mass detention” and “unacceptable prison conditions and restrictions on civic space and due process” during the regime.

In response, Congress President Ernesto Castro asked whether he was concerned about murders committed by gang members in the country.

Due process is a procedural legal principle that all people are entitled to certain minimum guarantees to ensure a fair outcome. ”
Wilson Sandoval
Lawyer/Coordinator Arak Funde

Due process?

Lawyer Wilson Sandoval explained that due process is included in Articles 10 to 12 of the Constitution of the Republic, in the chapter “Individual Rights and Exceptions Thereto.”

“Due process is a procedural legal principle that says that everyone is entitled to certain minimum guarantees, with the aim of ensuring a fair outcome. “Being able to defend yourself in front of a person, the presumption of innocence,” he summed up.

Sandoval compared that in the United States, one of the minimum guarantees is that a person’s liberty will not be taken away without due process.

Article 11 states that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, property, or other rights without being heard and defeated in court, and no person shall be tried twice for the same cause. Additionally, anyone whose freedom is restricted has the right to a writ of habeas corpus, which seeks to establish the legality or otherwise of an arrest, or where his or her dignity or integrity has been violated. It also shows that there is. Furthermore, Article 12 provides for the presumption of innocence.

Asked if due process is possible during a state of emergency, Sandoval said yes, but “if we fully follow the rules of the Constitution under a state of emergency,” but “that is no longer possible at this point.” There is,” he declared. This is because the current government is “perverted,” in violation of the constitution, and is not even adhering to the same rules as the emergency regime, such as suspending habeas corpus.

The Ambassador advocates for the removal of the permanent suspension of rights that all Salvadorans are placed under. ”
Ruth Lopez
Anti-Corruption Lawyer/Director Cristosar

Eliminate the government?

Ruth López, a lawyer with the Cristosal Association, believes the ambassador is advocating for the permanent suspension of domestic rights to be lifted. “These are respect for time, the presumption of innocence, preliminary investigation, and individualization of responsibility,” he exemplified.

He said that from the first moment there are “real protections”, that alternatives are not permanently ruled out, that the reasons for detention are informed and that families are provided with information about the detainee. He added that this is part of due process. .

Eduardo Escobar, a lawyer and executive director of Acción Ciudadana, said the ambassador’s request for due process “means abolishing the system of exceptions and returning to the constitutional deadline for bringing people to court.” ” he said.

I think it refers to re-establishing the guarantees that are included in due process and the guarantees that are influenced by the emergency regime. ”
Eduardo Escobar
Lawyer/Director Citizen Action

Due process is under discussion

1.- Such Minimum Guarantee

According to lawyers, one of the principles of due process is the presumption of innocence and the right to habeas corpus.

2.- Restore your rights
For the two lawyers, due process means reestablishing rights suspended by the emergency regime.

3.- Release
The government reports that about 7,000 of the approximately 73,000 people captured have been released. Gana says the system works because there are freed people.

Source: Diario Elmundo

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