You’ve probably seen the terrifying headlines about the suspension of constitutional rights in El Salvador, the mass roundups of over 6,000 people now being held without charges and with no right to defense, President Bukele’s threats to deny prisoners food and other basic rights, and his accusations that any critic is a gang sympathizer.
We wanted to share a new round-up we put together of analysis from social movement organizations, human rights leaders, and journalists in El Salvador who are courageously speaking out against state repression and threats to democracy. Check it out here.
Much like under Duterte in the Philippines and others, the dehumanization of alleged criminals is fundamental to Bukele’s drive to consolidate power, gag the opposition, and embolden military and police to act without fear of consequence, no matter who their target is.
You might think the Biden administration would have spoken out about these blatant violations of international human rights standards. But there’s been not a word from the U.S. Embassy or the State Department.
It’s up to us to continue raising our voices against U.S.-backed militarization in El Salvador, just as you did recently when you sent an email to Congress to echo Romero's call to cut U.S. military aid (thank you!)
We're doing another push across the country for calls and emails in light of this new crisis - here's how you can keep the pressure on.
1) Make a quick call to your Rep. Click here for a how-to, including a short script.
2) Make a donation to help our organizers and local chapters continue reaching out to new people to take action and get involved.
As the Popular Resistance and Rebellion Bloc in El Salvador declared last week, “The State of Exception is an instrument of repression and social control, which limits the Constitutional rights of assembly, defense, and inviolability of correspondence and telecommunications, and extends the period of provisional detention [from 72 hours to 15 days]. It is a tool to criminalize the opposition that has been organizing against the dictatorship. It does nothing to stop the wave of murders.”
President Bukele’s intentions are clear: he has already raised the military budget higher than at any point during the civil war and vowed to more than double the size of the military.
But despite the obvious risks that militarization poses to democracy, the U.S. remains the greatest foreign supporter of the police and the military.
Let's keep the pressure on Congress as they start putting together next year’s budget. Make a call using our short script or support our continued grassroots outreach with a donation here.
Show your solidarity with students, human rights defenders, journalists in El Salvador who face rising threats for speaking out against repression by adding your voice today.
The struggle continues!
-All of us at CISPES