They demand that the Salvadoran Congress approve a law to protect human rights defenders

San Salvador, Feb 4 (EFE) .- A group that brings together 41 humanitarian organizations demanded this Thursday that the Legislative Assembly of El Salvador accelerate the study and approve a protection law for human rights defenders proposed in September 2018.

The organizations, which bring together an amalgam of environmentalist, feminist and historical memory groups, expressed their concern that the current legislature is about to end without the responsible commission studying the proposal.

They also pointed out that the initiative “was already debated in a technical table created for this purpose” and that “observations were presented by different organizations and human rights groups,” and there were contributions from the Office of the Attorney for the Defense of Human Rights (PDDH ).

“We consider that there is no valid reason that justifies the Legislative Assembly, especially the Justice and Human Rights Commission, to prolong this debt of the Salvadoran State,” they said in a statement.

Human rights activists added that “leaving this issue for the next legislature is a serious irresponsibility on the part of the current deputies.”

They also asked the president, Nayib Bukele, that if the law is approved in Congress, “show his commitment to human rights and with those who seek its full validity” and order the publication of the decree in the Official Gazette for entry. in force.

In April 2018, the organizations publicly denounced the “criminalization” of their work in defense of human rights by state authorities, including the security authorities.

Among the human rights defenders killed in El Salvador are four environmentalists who were mainly opposed to mining projects.

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The Attorney for the Defense of Human Rights, Apolonio Tobar, joined the call of social organizations for the approval of the aforementioned law.

In addition, he regretted that, in his opinion, the Executive does not see “a real commitment in the promotion and defense of human rights.”

In the February 28 elections, the New Ideas party, founded by a Bukele movement and led by a cousin of his, is expected to win the majority of deputies.

The president has criticized on more than one occasion the social organizations that have been against some of his decisions, especially those that accompany the victims of the massacre that the Army committed and that killed 1,000 peasants in El Mozote (1981).

Regarding this case, the president last year backed an Army blockade of a series of judicial inspections ordered in the criminal process investigating the massacre. In this context, it announced the “declassification” of files, but only delivered photocopies of reports submitted by previous governments to the trial judge, according to sources close to the case.

The specter of political violence has clouded the political campaign in El Salvador ahead of the February 28 elections following an armed attack, hitherto confusing, perpetrated against supporters of the leftist opposition party Farabundo MartĂ­ National Liberation Front (FMLN). ), which resulted in two murdered people and generated multiple condemnatory reactions. EFE

hs / ares

| K: SOC: SOCIETY-HEALTH, SOLIDARITY-RIGHTS |

| Q: POL: en-ES: 11007000: Policy: Human Rights |

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