{"code":"26664","sect":"Opinion","sect_slug":"opinion","hits":"182","link":"https:\/\/elfaro.net\/en\/202301\/opinion\/26664","link_edit":"","name":"Will Democratic Voices Make a Comeback in 2023?","slug":"will-democratic-voices-make-a-comeback-in-2023-","info":"This is our hope for the new year: that the citizenry is stronger, more critical, more powerful, more organized, more visible. Without this, democracies are not viable, and the destiny of a territory\u2019s people is determined by whichever despot is in power.","mtag":"Editorial","noun":{"html":"El Faro Editorial Board","data":{"el-faro-editorial-board":{"sort":"","slug":"el-faro-editorial-board","path":"el_faro_editorial_board","name":"El Faro Editorial Board","edge":"0","init":"0"}}},"view":"182","pict":{"cms-image-000038360-jpg":{"feat":"1","sort":"38360","name":"cms-image-000038360.JPG","link":"https:\/\/elfaro.net\/images\/cms-image-000038360.JPG","path":"https:\/\/elfaro.net\/images\/cms-image-000038360.JPG","back":"","slug":"cms-image-000038360-jpg","text":"<p dir=\"ltr\">En este terreno abandonado del cant\u00f3n Palo Negro, en Coatepeque, Santa Ana, han aparecido 10 cad\u00e1veres en los \u00faltimos 6 a\u00f1os. En 2016, se encontraron 4 cuerpos en estado descomposici\u00f3n reportados previamente como desaparecidos. En 2017, ocurri\u00f3 una masacre en la que murieron un expolic\u00eda, el hijo de un expolic\u00eda y dos hombres se\u00f1alados como pandilleros. Entre 2016 y 2017,\u00a0 las autoridades tambi\u00e9n reportaron el hallazgo de 2 personas no identificadas. En el mismo terreno, en diciembre de 2020, Abraham Osorio encontr\u00f3 los restos de un muro que alguna vez fue casa y pint\u00f3 los ojos de una mujer.Titul\u00f3 a su obra Espejismo. Este mural puede apreciarse sobre el kil\u00f3metro 50 de la carretera Panamericana, en el trayecto que conduce de Santa Ana hacia San Salvador. Osorio, su autor, llama a su concepto \"arte abandonado\".\u00a0 Su intervenci\u00f3n es en espacios rurales en estado de abandono, en infraestructura en ruinas de viviendas. Foto de El Faro: V\u00edctor Pe\u00f1a.<\/p>","capt":"\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EEn este terreno abandonado del cant\u00f3n Palo Negro, en Coatepeque, Santa Ana, han aparecido 10 cad\u00e1veres en los \u00faltimos 6 a\u00f1os. En 2016, se encontraron 4 cuerpos en estado descomposici\u00f3n reportados previamente como desaparecidos. En 2017, ocurri\u00f3 una masacre en la que murieron un expolic\u00eda, el hijo de un expolic\u00eda y dos hombres se\u00f1alados como pandilleros. Entre 2016 y 2017,\u00a0 las autoridades tambi\u00e9n reportaron el hallazgo de 2 personas no identificadas. En el mismo terreno, en diciembre de 2020, Abraham Osorio encontr\u00f3 los restos de un muro que alguna vez fue casa y pint\u00f3 los ojos de una mujer.Titul\u00f3 a su obra Espejismo. Este mural puede apreciarse sobre el kil\u00f3metro 50 de la carretera Panamericana, en el trayecto que conduce de Santa Ana hacia San Salvador. Osorio, su autor, llama a su concepto \"arte abandonado\".\u00a0 Su intervenci\u00f3n es en espacios rurales en estado de abandono, en infraestructura en ruinas de viviendas. Foto de El Faro: V\u00edctor Pe\u00f1a.\u003C\/p\u003E"}},"pict_main__sort":38360,"date":{"live":"2023\/01\/09"},"data_post_dateLive_YY":"2023","data_post_dateLive_MM":"01","data_post_dateLive_DD":"09","text":"\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003E\u003Ca href=\"\/es\/202301\/columnas\/26659\/Deseos-de-a%C3%B1o-nuevo.htm\"\u003E\u003Cem\u003ELeer en espa\u00f1ol\u003C\/em\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EIt is a beautiful tradition to begin each year by wishing loved ones, friends and strangers a trip around the sun full of happiness, health, prosperity, and peace. These are the wishes we send to you this year, dear readers, regardless of what religious, ideological or economic differences may set us apart.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EBut the work of achieving these hopes and desires, and of ensuring they extend to our communities, requires the cooperation and support of all of us. It requires concrete action, more than mere expressions of good will.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EWe have insisted in recent years on the need for citizens to take ownership over their public spaces: that we not just limit our participation in political life to social media, or to turning out at the polls every two or three years.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003ECentral America\u2019s new governments have shut down mechanisms of accountability while tightening their grip on democracy\u2019s neck, for their own benefit, and plundering the public coffers for personal gain. They have taken control of the judiciary and are now advancing, all of them, in their efforts to further limit our constitutional rights, and to use the mechanisms of state power to guarantee impunity, persecute their critics, and continue dismantling our public institutions.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EThe case of Nicaragua is enough to demonstrate the damage that a small group in power can do to an entire country. Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo have turned Nicaragua into a fiefdom, where everything works according to the will and for the benefit of those who govern, and not, as democracies require, of those who are governed.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EIn every election, Daniel Ortega waves the old banners of the Left, promising more equality, more solidarity and more ferocity in his struggle against the enemies of the people. Just to be sure, during the last election he imprisoned all preliminary opposition candidates. Ortega\u2019s behavior in power directly contradicts his every proclamation. His country continues to be one of the poorest in the continent, and its citizens enjoy fewer and fewer rights. The wealth that Nicaragua accumulates flows directly to the presidential family and the businessmen complicit with the dictatorship, while the country\u2019s prisons fill with political prisoners and the entire judicial apparatus functions not on the basis of laws, but on the whims of the Ortega family.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003ENicaragua continues to be the regional extreme, but it serves as a guiding star for the governments of El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala, which are advancing at an alarming rate toward a similar end \u2014 a system in which the state serves only to protect the welfare of a select few.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EIn El Salvador, the economy is in serious trouble, mainly due to government indebtedness, disastrous public policy, the failed Bitcoin project that has cost Salvadorans millions in losses, and rampant corruption. The looting of state coffers during the almost four years that Bukele and his family circle have been in power has no comparable precedent \u2014 it is worse than under the very governments the president positions himself against, as he claims to set a new example of honest and incorruptible leadership. In terms of corruption, this government is only different from previous ones in that it has stolen even more, has fewer checks and balances on its power, and has eliminated state mechanisms for prosecuting the corrupt.\u00a0\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EDespite the particularities of the political phenomenon embodied in the figure of Bukele, and despite the fact that he enjoys the highest approval rating of any president in the continent, his authoritarian drift, the corruption in his administration, and his destruction of the rule of law \u2014all necessary for him to remain, unconstitutionally, in power\u2014 have isolated El Salvador internationally, not only from traditional allies like the United States and Europe, but also from the broader community of Latin American democracies.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EA regime that is opaque, corrupt, and an enemy of the rule of law presents a serious threat to the rights of its citizens. It threatens the right to justice, the right to transparency and accountability, the right to freedom of expression, and the right to live in a country governed by a body of laws rather than the whims of those in power.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EIn Honduras, the departure from the presidency of Juan Orlando Hern\u00e1ndez, who now faces drug trafficking charges in the United States, promised the beginning of a new era of hope for our neighbor to the north. But the Zelaya family, with Xiomara in the presidency and Mel commanding from the rearguard, has instead decided to follow in Bukele\u2019s footsteps, formally and informally incorporating the entire presidential family into government, declaring a state of exception, and carrying out military sieges across the country.\u00a0\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EIn neighboring Guatemala, it is not one person or one family, but rather the old economic groups, narco-politics, and the military who have retaken control of the state apparatus, now that the UN-backed anti-impunity commission, CICIG, is no longer in their way. The judiciary is once again at the disposal of these groups; meanwhile, citizen organizations \u2014 those who led the street protests that culminated in the fall of President Otto P\u00e9rez Molina in 2015 and ushered in the \u201cGuatemalan Spring\u201d \u2014 have been dismantled, with many of their members forced into exile. Ongoing corruption scandals and the impunity that accompanies them only show how easy it is for thieves, when they eliminate regulations on public spending and take control of the judicial apparatus, to avoid paying any consequences.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EThese omens do not bode well for a region that has already suffered so much, whose people have struggled so hard, for so many decades, to build a more prosperous and equitable society. But it is precisely in the hands of those people where the only imaginable way out of this grave situation now lies.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EWe need citizens who are critical, who make demands, who speak out, and who assume that the state belongs to everyone, not just the powerful groups and mafias that control their countries. We need citizens who self-organize and intervene more forcefully in the public debate.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EThis is our hope for the new year: that the citizenry is stronger, more critical, more powerful, more organized, more visible. Without this, democracies are not viable, and the destiny of a territory\u2019s people is determined by whichever despot is in power. Central American history has given us sufficient, and sufficiently painful, lessons on why that scenario is undesirable. The other scenario, the desirable one, is citizen power. Your power.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EHappy New Year.\u003C\/p\u003E"}