{"code":"26102","sect":"El Salvador","sect_slug":"el-salvador","hits":"775","link":"https:\/\/elfaro.net\/en\/202203\/el_salvador\/26102","link_edit":"","name":"No New Ideas after El Salvador\u2019s Homicide Crisis","slug":"no-new-ideas-after-el-salvador-rsquo-s-homicide-crisis","info":"El Salvador, in Brief: Amid an ongoing state of exception, the Bukele-controlled legislature held its second emergency session in five days to approve sweeping increases in criminal sentences for gang leaders and underage members alike. Bukele also sponsored legislation to increase prison time for any kind of negotiation with gangs, despite the fact that his administration has been doing just that since its first days in office. Subscribe to our newsletter","mtag":"Newsletter","noun":{"html":"El Faro English","data":{"el-faro-english":{"sort":"","slug":"el-faro-english","path":"el_faro_english","name":"El Faro English","edge":"0","init":"0"}}},"view":"775","pict":{"cms-image-000037351-jpg":{"feat":"1","sort":"37351","name":"cms-image-000037351.jpg","link":"https:\/\/elfaro.net\/images\/cms-image-000037351.jpg","path":"https:\/\/elfaro.net\/images\/cms-image-000037351.jpg","back":"","slug":"cms-image-000037351-jpg","text":"<p>Police and soldiers stood watch at the scene of the third homicide registered in El Salvador on Sunday, March 27, 2022, in a neighborhood known as Ex-Biblioteca. Photo: Carlos Barrera\/El Faro<\/p>","capt":"\u003Cp\u003EPolice and soldiers stood watch at the scene of the third homicide registered in El Salvador on Sunday, March 27, 2022, in a neighborhood known as Ex-Biblioteca. Photo: Carlos Barrera\/El Faro\u003C\/p\u003E"}},"pict_main__sort":37351,"date":{"live":"2022\/03\/31"},"data_post_dateLive_YY":"2022","data_post_dateLive_MM":"03","data_post_dateLive_DD":"31","text":"\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003E\u201cWe cannot stop crime just with police,\u201d \u003Ca href=\"http:\/\/www.vqronline.org\/profiles-articles\/2016\/10\/prince-peace\"\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003EBukele said in 2016\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E in an interview with The Virginia Quarterly Review while mayor of San Salvador.\u00a0\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003E\u201cIt\u2019s not only morally and ethically not possible to do. Even if you violate all the civil rights, you don\u2019t have the sufficient firepower or manpower,\u201d he continued. \u201cSo if it\u2019s unethical, if it\u2019s immoral, if it\u2019s impractical, and it\u2019s impossible, why are we pursuing that road?\u201d\u00a0\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EOn Wednesday, \u003Cstrong\u003EBukele and his party trod further down that path\u003C\/strong\u003E. In a new emergency legislative session \u2014the second in five days\u2014, ruling-party legislators and allies approved drastic changes in the penal code to further punish gang membership with up to 30 years in prison and increase sentences for gang leaders to up to 40 years.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EThe increased penalties also extend to \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/twitter.com\/williamsorianoh\/status\/1509335294163787785?s=21&t=xV88RHOcjQj8QemUXLg1pA\"\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003Eanyone who facilitated or negotiated\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E with the gangs \u2014 a broad characterization up for interpretation and full of irony, given that El Faro \u003Ca href=\"\/en\/202009\/el_salvador\/24785\/Bukele-Spent-A-Year-Negotiating-with-MS-13-for-a-Reduction-in-Homicides-and-Electoral-Support.htm\"\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003Erevealed in 2020\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E and \u003Ca href=\"\/en\/202108\/el_salvador\/25670\/Criminal-Investigation-Found-the-Bukele-Administration-Hid-Evidence-of-Negotiations-with-Gangs.htm\"\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003E2021\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E that officials from \u003Cstrong\u003Ethe Bukele administration negotiated\u003C\/strong\u003E \u003Cstrong\u003Ewith MS-13\u003C\/strong\u003E and 18th Street for a reduction in homicides.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EIn December 2021, the U.S. government \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/home.treasury.gov\/news\/press-releases\/jy0519\"\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003Esanctioned Bukele officials\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E Osiris Luna and Carlos Marroquin, who \u200b\u200b\u201dled, facilitated, and organized a number of secret meetings involving incarcerated gang leaders\u201d that provided \u201cfinancial incentives\u201d to gang members in exchange for a reduction in homicides.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp\u003EYesterday the Assembly also moved to allow judges\u2019 identities to be concealed for \u201cprotection,\u201d created a fund to reward citizens whose tips lead to the arrest of gang members, and legislated \u003Cstrong\u003Eincreased sentences for 12-year-old gang members\u003C\/strong\u003E of up to 10 years for any crimes committed. 16-year-olds will face a new maximum of 20 years.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\t\t\u003Cfigure class=\"pict pict_land pict_move_posc 0 cs_img cs_img--curr rule--ss_c\" data-shot=\"pict\" data-hint=\"pict\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"pict__pobj text-overflow\"\u003E\u003Cimg src=\"https:\/\/elfaro.net\/get_img?ImageWidth=3000&ImageHeight=2000&ImageId=37351\" class=\"pobj\" style=\"max-width: 100%\" rel=\"resizable\" alt=\"Police and soldiers stood watch at the scene of the third homicide registered in El Salvador on Sunday, March 27, 2022, in a neighborhood known as Ex-Biblioteca. Photo: Carlos Barrera\/El Faro\" \/\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"pict__line block edge--ss_lax edge--ss_rax padd--ss_l0x padd--ss_r0x line--ss_s0b lineh rule--ss_c\"\u003E\u003Cspan class=\"block-inline full-width align-middle lineh__rect tint-back--nake\"\u003E\u003Cspan\u003E\u00a0\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003Cfigcaption class=\"pict__text cs_img_caption folk_content typo_buttons line--ss_s0c line--ss_s0c--auto block full-width text-overflow rule--ss_l relative\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"__content block-inline full-width align-top tint-text--idle relative\"\u003EPolice and soldiers stood watch at the scene of the third homicide registered in El Salvador on Sunday, March 27, 2022, in a neighborhood known as Ex-Biblioteca. Photo: Carlos Barrera\/El Faro\u003Cdiv class=\"photographer text_italic rule--ss_l tint-text--idle\"\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/figcaption\u003E\u003C\/figure\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EThe reforms ordered by Bukele \u003Ca href=\"\/en\/202203\/el_salvador\/26100\/Is-Bukele\"\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003Ecame after a sudden spike in homicides over the weekend\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E \u2014 including the most violent day in 20 years on Saturday. The violence raised questions about Bukele\u2019s security policy and a possible fracture in his negotiations with gangs.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EAt the request of the president, the legislature responded to the violence before dawn on Sunday by enacting a \u003Ca href=\"\/en\/202203\/el_salvador\/26100\/Is-Bukele\"\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003E30-day \u003C\/span\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003Estate of exception\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E that suspends the right to association and legal defense, increases the period of detention without cause from 72 hours to 15 days, and allows the government to intercept communications without a warrant.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003ESince Saturday, in an enormous surge of troops and police in the streets, President Bukele claims to have arrested 3,000 alleged gang members.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"font-size: medium;\"\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003E\u201cHuman Rights Are Only for Humans\u201d\u003C\/strong\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EEven before yesterday\u2019s session started, the Legislative Assembly president Ernesto Castro stated unequivocally that the Nuevas Ideas-controlled legislature would pass this second round of reforms. Bukele justified the extraordinary measures by calling the current situation a \u201cwar against gangs\u201d and \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/twitter.com\/nayibbukele\/status\/1508921395845156873\"\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003Eaccusing\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E anyone of criticizing his approach as \u201csupporting gangs\u201d and being against measures \u201ctaken to safeguard the lives of the population.\u201d\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EInternational human rights groups, including \u003Cstrong\u003Ethe Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, criticized the government\u003C\/strong\u003E for taking \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/twitter.com\/CIDH\/status\/1508929023258374145\"\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003Erepressive measures\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E, particularly within the prison system, that violated human rights.\u00a0\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003E\u201cHuman rights are only for humans,\u201d \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/twitter.com\/KarenMorenoPala\/status\/1509309561743851526?t=tKSeWyQJ-0zb5G2Vc1eCvg&s=19\"\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003Esaid Nuevas Ideas legislator\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E Walter Coto during the legislative session Wednesday.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp\u003EFinance Minister Alejandro Zelaya also proposed a budget increase of $80 million to the police and military. Since Bukele\u2019s first year in office, his government \u003Cstrong\u003Ehas \u003C\/strong\u003E\u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/gatoencerrado.news\/2022\/01\/15\/la-fuerza-armada-de-bukele-goza-del-mayor-presupuesto-desde-los-acuerdos-de-paz\/\"\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003Eincreased\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003E funding to the military by more than 75 percent\u003C\/strong\u003E, to the highest levels since the civil war ended in 1992.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003E\u201cNayib Bukele negotiated with the gangs in search of political partners. Something went wrong and resulted in a terrible wave of murders and a country in a state of exception\u201d, \u003Ca href=\"\/en\/202203\/columns\/26101\/Bukele\"\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003Eargued El Faro\u2019s Editorial Board this week\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E. \u201cThis state of exception is not needed to fight crime, but it is custom-tailored to an autocrat bent on pursuing his critics.\u201d\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp\u003ERead more on the increase in violence and the state of exception approved Sunday in \u003Ca href=\"\/en\/202203\/el_salvador\/26100\/Is-Bukele\"\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003Eour Tuesday newsletter\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E, and thanks for your time. If you\u2019ve gained from getting our work in your inbox, please consider \u003Cstrong\u003Efunding independent journalism in Central America\u003C\/strong\u003E, in its most critical hour, at \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/support.elfaro.net\/\"\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003Esupport.elfaro.net\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E.\u003C\/p\u003E"}