Saturday, February 28, 2009

2008 Human Rights Report for El Salvador

This week the US State Department released its annual human rights reports concerning the record of the countries of the world in protecting the human rights of their citizens. The 2008 Human Rights Report for El Salvador is not much changed from the past few years. The report summarizes:

Although the government generally respected the rights of its citizens, protection of human rights was undermined by widespread violent crime, including gang-related violence, high levels of impunity from prosecution, and judicial corruption. Other significant human rights problems included harsh, violent, and overcrowded prison conditions; lengthy pretrial detention; violence and discrimination against women; abuses against children, child labor, and forced child prostitution; trafficking in persons; and inadequate enforcement of labor rights.

The report's harshest critique applies to the ineffective criminal justice system in the country:
Although the constitution provides for an independent judiciary, the judiciary suffered from inefficiency, corruption, and insufficient resources. Substantial corruption in the judicial system contributed to a high level of impunity, undermining the rule of law and the public's respect for the judiciary. Inadequate government funding of the PNC, combined with intimidation and killing of victims and witnesses, made it difficult to identify, arrest, and prosecute perpetrators of human rights abuses and other crimes, thus diminishing public confidence in the justice system....

NGOs, such as the Foundation for Studies in Legal Application, the Salvadoran Foundation for Economic and Social Development (FUSADES), and IDHUCA continued to allege that the Supreme Court did not adequately address judicial delays, inefficiency, and unqualified and corrupt judges. FUSADES reported that the public had no faith in the judicial system due to a lack of access to justice and accountability, a judicial backlog, and corruption.


El-Visitador said...

«overcrowded prison conditions; lengthy pretrial detention [...] the judiciary suffered from inefficiency, corruption, and insufficient resources [...] Inadequate government funding of the PNC»

Spot on!

In El Salvador there is plenty of money for wasteful hobbies such as CONCULTURA, MARN, MITUR and other fashionable items that cater to the well-off and the leeches of the State.

Yet somehow there is no money for cops, jails, and judges, nor even conscience among Salvadoreans that the solution to our most pressing begins with money for cops, jails and judges.

You might notice that no candidate and no party has promised to double or treble funding for cops, jails and judges.

Larry said...

Tsk, tsk. El-Visitador wants to solve problems by throwing money at them. This is especially worse when you consider that it is throwing money at corruption.

Any improvement has to start with deep structural reform of the PNC and the court system. Accountability, transparency, and scietific training are much more important that putting more cops on the street.