Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Demonstrations everywhere

Protesters took to the streets and blocked traffic in many regions of El Salvador today. In many parts of the country demonstrators blocked streets to show opposition to implementation of the CAFTA treaty. Street vendors who sell pirated CDs and DVDs protested against heightened copyright infringement penalties which are part of CAFTA implementation. Health workers demonstrated near certain hospitals to demonstrate for increased wages and better working conditions. Elsewhere in the country, demonstrators blocked highways to demand that potable drinking water be brought to their communities.

Diario CoLatino and El Diario de Hoy have coverage from the left and the right respectively. Photo galleries of the protests are online here and here.

Showing that the gloves are off following a one week truce during funeral ceremonies for Schafik Handal, president Tony Saca, accused the FMLN of "radicalizing" the population with protests following Handal's death. He repeated an ARENA theme that the FMLN was allied with the "maras," the violent gangs which plague El Salvador. He blamed the FMLN for planning today's protests and the disruptions they caused to transportation in the country.

The FMLN responded with a statement that it supported the aspirations of the protesters and that the ARENA government was to blame for the conditions which led to the protests.


Mysterious Me said...

PS...the demonstrations were not directly FMLN. They were a collection of organized groups wanting change...but ofcourse Saca would love to show it to be otherwise! From a ground perspective, it was pretty intense...at least the two places I ran into the protests. Not to mention the police in full riot gear...and the extra police force in town (campo cops). Something fishy is going on here...

Tim said...

Thanks, Mysterious, maybe I should have made that clear. The demonstrations were sponsored by a variety of social organizations, who are certainly sympathetic to the FMLN, but not sponsored by the FMLN.