El Salvador is seeing worst rights abuses since 1980-1992 civil war, Amnesty reports
SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) — El Salvador is experiencing one of the worst human rights crises since the country’s 1980-1992 civil war, because of President Nayib Bukele ‘s harsh anti-gang crackdown, Amnesty International said in a report released Tuesday.
The rights group claimed that the almost 74,000 people jailed in the crackdown were subjected to “systematic use of torture and other mistreatment.”
“The deterioration in human rights that we have documented in recent years is extremely worrisome,” said Ana Piquer, the Americas director for Amnesty International.
“The adoption of a highly repressive security policy and the weakening of the rule of law has led the country to one of its worst crises since the civil war,” Piquer said, referring to the 1980s conflict between leftist guerrillas and government forces that left 75,000 dead.
The group based its report on 83 interviews in El Salvador, including victims of abuses.
The Associated Press interviewed two former inmates who were on provisional release from prison, who said they had suffered and witnessed severe beatings by guards inside prison.
Rights groups say that Bukele’s mass round-up of suspected gang members has included some young men arrested and jailed simply on the basis of their low-wage jobs, lower education levels or place of residence.
Local rights groups also say the crackdown has left 327 people missing and at least 190 dead.
The policy has lowered El Salvador’s homicide rate and given a popularity boost to Bukele, who plans to run for re-election despite a constitutional ban on running again.
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