Sunday, July 19, 2009

Police version of activist's death questioned

Numerous civil society organizations in El Salvador are rejecting the hypothesis of the police that Marcelo Rivera was murdered by gang members he knew after talking and drinking with them. Rivera was a prominent activist who had denounced election fraud and protested the possibility of gold mining in the country. The civil society groups are complaining that the police have completely discounted any link between enemies made by Rivera's activism and his violent death.

The website World War 4 Report states:

The victim's brother, Miguel Rivera, dismissed the gang violence explanation. "Saying that my brother died at the hands of gang members is an unbelievable story and becomes a mockery for my family. My brother was tortured. He was alive for nine days after his disappearance. His trachea was broken by a nylon cord that strangled him, pushing his arm up to his face. This is not an act of gang members. It is torture."

Rivera was director of the Casa de Cultura in San Isidro, and was active in social justice and environmental struggles. Friends and family members report that he received many threats in response to his public denunciations of San Isidro Mayor Ignacio Bautista of the ARENA party. Rivera was vocal in his stance against attempted fraud in the municipal and legislative elections of Jan. 18, which led community members to shut down the town's voting centers, forcing a make-up election to be held the following week. Rivera was also active in the national movement against mining projects that threaten El Salvador's principal watersheds.

With a new government, a new head to the National Police, and a new attorney general, this case will be worth watching to determine whether a greater number of murders, particularly those which might have a political connection, are solved to the satisfaction of all interested parties. Prior cases under the ARENA administrations, like the cases of Gilberto Soto or the Manzanares family, have left many unanswered questions.


Lasmarch said...

Wrong, Tim. There is no official attorney general, in fact, the process of confirming a new one has been remained frozen ever since Garrid Safie ended his term, by ARENA, who are naturally afraid of suddenly finding a A.G. who would be more than willing to investigate and prosecute them.

In fact, the "interim A.G.", Astor Escalante was shortly before elections Director de Centros Penales, of which we all know he served wonderfully (sarcasm). He was placed as fiscal adjunto with rather suspicious timing by ARENA to precisely create the situation we have right now.

Truth be told, you cannot trust any single gov. official, whose duty is to oversee and execute the law, if it has been placed by ARENA, because they are the main culprits in doing whatever possible to sabotage the rule of law, and any inquiries into past ARENA terms, the 20+ years of "empresarios" sucking off the blood out of the state for their benefit, etc.

I assure you that if it were left up to Escalante to determine the cause, time and perpetrators of Rivera's murder, he'll be quick to blame it to common crime, just as he was quick to decree Chele Torrez's death as a suicide.

It should be no one's surprise, that the same people that kept the police department understaffed, poorly trained, unequipped, to establish profitable private security firms, are the same ones that benefited from the high crime rate of the country in more ways than one.

Lasmarch said...

Besides, here is a question for you...

Let us say that Rivera was indeed killed by gangs... Who can guarantee that those gang members may have not acted as hired guns to do so?

El-Visitador said...

«the same people that kept the police department understaffed, poorly trained, unequipped»

You know, if Funes trebles the Police budget (which is easy b/c the government take is $3,300 million yet only a measly $150 million are spent on the Police), I solemnly swear I will vote FMLN next time in both the Assembly and Presidential elections.

I fervently hope I lose this bet and therefore have to vote FMLN in

- * -

You know my chances of losing this bet are minuscule, much as I hope to lose it. What does this say about your cute conspiracy theories?