Friday, October 28, 2016

The week in El Salvador -- Oct 28

Quick takes from news stories this week from El Salvador.

El Salvador's fiscal crisis continued without resolution.   Currently ARENA asserts it will only approve $500 million in bonds, while the government and FMLN insist on $1.2 billion.   Added to the crisis are demands from health system workers for increases in their national salary scale. LPG (sp).

El Salvador saw more than 100 police officers resign in the first six months of the year, and a large number try to seek asylum in the US or Canada for their own safety.   Still, this number is down from 2015 and 2014, and seems to parallel the rise and fall of the overall homicide rate in the country    Insight Crime and Texas Tribune.

El Salvador's Vice President Óscar Ortiz said on October 20 that the Special Reactionary Forces (Fuerzas Especializadas de Reacción El Salvador - FES) had proven particularly efficient against the gangs during its first six months of operations, reported La Prensa Gráfica. He also gave the unit his blessing to use force when necessary.  Insight Crime.

The FMLN has put forth a bill to expand abortion rights in the Central American country. Currently, El Salvador has some of the harshest abortion laws in the world–it is strictly illegal without any exceptions. This new measure, backed by the President of the Legislative Assembly, Lorena Peña, will legalize abortion in cases where the mother’s life would be at risk if she were to carry the pregnancy to term, where the fetus is unviable, or in cases of rape or trafficking. COHA.   But until legislation is changed, women are still going to prison for miscarriages which prosecutors often mis-classify as abortions. (al Jazeera)

The University of Central America is decrying the lack of responsibility of the current Attorney General in failing to move forward any investigations of atrocities committed during the civil war following the annulment of the 1993 amnesty law earlier this year.   Among many others, the crimes include the 1981 massacre at El Mozote and the 1989 killing of the Jesuit priests. UCA editorial. (sp)

A court in El Salvador has sentenced two gang members to five and 15 years in a youth correctional facility for the March assassinations of 11 workers in San Juan Opico.  AP.  

El Salvador will assume the temporary presidency of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, or CELAC in 2017, Dominican Foreign Minister Miguel Vargas announced Tuesday at the start of a foreign ministers' meeting of that organization. Fox News Latino.


Earlier this month, two PNC officers in El Salvador were convicted following the June 2015 attack on Aldo Alexander Peña, a transgender Salvadoran man. The ruling represents a step forward for the LGBT community—but only a step. Although two officers were convicted, the primary suspect in the beating and the remaining officers involved were set free. Human Rights First.







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