It is a scene which repeats itself with unfortunate regularity in central San Salvador. The authorities take some action against the informal street vendors who fill the streets in the city's central center. The vendors clash with police, windows are smashed, something is burned, tear-gas is fired.
Yesterday it was the seizure of pirated DVDs and CDs being sold on the streets in the city center which touched off the clashes. For four hours, police clashed with vendors. A police car and two other vehicles were set ablaze. Several businesses were looted, including a bicycle shop where news photos showed looters carrying off their ill-gotten bicycles down the streets.
Seventeen persons were arrested during the disturbances. The government plans to charge them as terrorists under the new anti-terrorism law. The auxiliary archbishop of San Salvador, Gregorio Rosa Chavez, described the supposed street vendors involved in the disturbances as "vandals," and called for attention to be paid to the many problems afflicting the city's historic center.
La Prensa had photographers on the scene who recorded the events: gallery 1, gallery 2, gallery 3.