Sunday, August 21, 2005

Failing to stop murders

Proceso is a weekly news bulletin published by the Center for Information, Documentation and Research Support (CIDAI) of the Central American University (UCA) of El Salvador. The July 20, 2005 edition, now available in English, has a harshly worded essay regarding the Saca administrations' failure to stem the growing tide of homicides. Here are some excerpts:


The Minister of Governance has a delusional explanation [for the increase in murders]: most of the people that have been murdered are gang members or drug dealers, victims of the gangs that keep fighting to control the traffic of drugs and their power. This is how the Saca administration disrespects the homicide victims. Most of them are not gang members, and even if they were, a murder could never be justified. It seems that, according to the government, the name tag “gang member” makes murder legal and even unimportant......

Life is not worth much in El Salvador. It is less important than the transactions of the most important businessmen. The government of ARENA is interested in reducing the homicide rates to what can be considered as a “normal level”, not to defend life or to take care of security, but to keep the investments in the country and not let them get away, particularly the investments that will come with the free trade agreement with the United States. To create a good business environment for the business elite so that they can make more money in peace is the main reason for the existence of the governmental initiative.....

Attorney GeneralÂ’s Office allegedly does not have any human or material resources to fulfill all of its fiscal duties. The Attorney General indicates that darkness prevents him form gathering judicial evidences of the crimes that have been committed, since most of them happen at night. What he does not admit is that his institution is incapable of defending the interests of the citizenry and the ones of the State......

It is evident that the governmental plans have failed. The homicide rates are growing because crimes are not investigated. The Attorney GeneralÂ’s Office as well as the police are not trained or just do not have the will to do its job, because the circulation of guns is out of control, and because alcohol and drugs are freely used. Instead of a new council and new discussion groups, what is necessary is to attack the roots of violence and this is an essential task for any government....

No comments: