Nayib Bukele and the controversial actions against gangs in El Salvador

The crisis of violence that El Salvador is going through, especially in recent weeks, has placed its president, Neb Bokel, in the circle of attention of international public opinion, which has not stopped broadcasting its controversial statements and actions in the media, which according to him, They are targeting criminal groups in the country.

Bukele, the Salvadoran President Who Wasn’t Afraid to Openly Confront Joe Biden’s Government, Create Momentum for Cryptocurrency and Pretend Close to President Andres Manuel Lopez Obradoris now under the watchful eye of users, politicians, activists, and international organizations, whether they are consensual or critical, in the face of what their actions based on violence might do in the Central American country.

In the following lines we present some of the main measures that the government of El Salvador has promoted in recent days and copied by other authorities.

It started requesting a state of exception

It was the night of March 25 this year when Bukele The legislature has demanded a decree ordering an emergency regime, after the authorities arrested dozens of members of the Mara Salvatrucha gang for at least twenty murders since the day before.

El Salvador was shaken by a wave of violence, as “more than 20 murders and murders of women” were recorded, according to the March 24 report by Ricardo Martinez, Deputy Public Prosecutor for the Defense of Human Rights, while other relevant sources reported to the public. Security raised the number of murders in the country to 30.

The next day, the country’s authorities, including the Salvadoran army, carried out an operation, according to the National Civil Police (PNC), Many leaders of Mara Salvatrucha They were arrested on charges of “responsibility for the murders recorded in the past few hours”.

“Since yesterday we have seen a new rise in homicides, which is something we have worked hard to reduce We fight criminals in the streets“We are trying to find out what is happening and who is behind the financing of this,” Bukele said that day in a statement posted on Twitter by Congressional President Ernesto Castro.

In his statements on social media, he stressed, “I must give Thank God for allowing me to face these unimaginable challenges; For giving me such a heavy responsibility and for choosing to be your soldier precisely in these times.

On March 27, Bukele, with the approval of the House of Representatives, issued an exceptional regulation restricting civil liberties and expanding the powers of the police, while the country recorded 76 murders in two days due to gang violence.

Police and army scrambled the streets with Assault rifles and flak jackets, with the goal of arresting Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) leaders accused of ordering the crimes.

The Salvadoran government has attributed the wave of violence to the MS-13 and Barrio 18 gangs.”Nearly 600 catches in just two days‘,” President Bukele said the same day via Twitter.

On that day, the Legislative Assembly of El Salvador, at the request of Neb Bukele, Agree to an exemption system for a monthwhere they put their application “in Throughout the national territory “in the face of” serious disturbances of public order by criminal groups “.

‘They will pay for it’

The decree was approved by a large majority in Parliament, which considered restricting freedom of assembly, inviolability of correspondence and communication, and the power to arrest without a court order.

Stop killing now or they (the detainees) will pay for it tooBukele wrote on Twitter the following Monday, accompanying his post with a video of a prison raid in which agents take half-naked prisoners from their cells, force them to run and search them in yards.

The government also shared the photos with agencies and the media, where they were counted At that time 16,000 gang members were imprisonedWhile 87 murders were recorded in the country in three days.

The state of exception was, for many, an example of a harsh policy implemented by the Bukele government, with a majority in Parliament.

We confiscated everything, even the sleeping matsIn addition, we are rationing their food, and now they will not see the sun anymore,” the president insisted on Twitter, which has been one of his main platforms for expressing his views and reporting on his actions.

The president’s statements were consistent, and he did not stop expressing a sentence or issuing a decision. At the time, on March 29, he asked Congress for more legal tools.To combat gangs more effectively.

for this part, The President of the Legislative Council complied with the request On the same day, an extraordinary session was held.

El Salvador’s Congress reformed the penal code on March 30 to increase the maximum sentence for gang members from 9 to 45 years in prison.

The amendment to Section 345 of the Penal Code was approved by a majority of 76 out of 84 deputies in the one-chamber Congress, which is controlled by Bukele’s allies.

The reform states that “anyone who participates in an illegal group, association, or organization” such as gangs “will be punished with twenty to thirty years in prison,” and if they are “leaders,” the prison sentence will be from 40 to 45 years. .

“Prison or death”

On March 31, the president made a harsh appeal not only to those in the gangs, but also to those trying to join these criminal groups, as well as the relatives of these people.

Parents. Show this video (of prison gang members) to your teens, and explain Joining a gang has only two ways out: prison or deathThe president said on Twitter.

The video reveals the harsh conditions of imprisonment for gang members in prison, amid the state of emergency approved by Congress at the request of the President and which will rule for a month to reduce the violence of those gangs that are considered “terrorists”.

Bukele only stopped making statements on March 31, because he called on April 1 The Supreme Court dismisses judges “accomplices” in organized crime, denouncing that a judge “tried” to release the gang members.

“I call on the High Court of Justice to dismiss judges complicit in organized crime,” Bukele wrote on his Twitter account.

Earlier, he said that “a judge tried to release 42” gang members who are facing legal action for crimes they committed in 2019.

The president called on the attorney general’s office to “investigate the possible links of this judge,” which he did not specify, “with organized crime and terrorist structures.”

He threatens to leave the gang members without food

Bukele also claimed responsibility for the arrest of an additional 6,000 members of the gang, for a total of 22,000, a number that was revealed after 1,450 new members of the Salvadoran Army were sworn in from the military school.

“There are rumors that they want revenge on honest people, indiscriminately. Do it and there will be no time to eat in prisons. Let’s see how long your boys stay at home there. I swear to God they don’t eat rice,” Bukele warned.

One of the last actions taken by the Congress of El Salvador, at the request of President Neb Bokel, was the approval of the reform of the Penal Code Punishment of up to 15 years in prison for spreading messages of gangs in the media.

The reform applies to those who “reproduce and transmit messages or communications issued or alleged from said criminal groups that could generate anxiety and panic among the general public,” the text states, which provides for prison sentences of 10 to 15 years.

It is also directed against those who “mark” their lands with acronyms, a practice used by gang members to intimidate and kill those who report them to the authorities.

“When the Germans wanted to eliminate Nazism, they banned by law all Nazi symbols, as well as letters, apologies and everything that was aimed at promoting Nazism (…) Now we will do it with gangs,” Bukele justified in your message on his Twitter account.

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