Salvadoran Prosecutor’s Office declares “non-existent” report on exception regime

The Attorney General of the Republic (FGR) of El Salvador declared “nonexistent” a statistical report on arrest warrantsarrests and persons deprived of liberty who died within the framework of an exceptional regime in force since the end of March.

Efe asked the FGR’s Access to Public Information Unit (UAIP) for a series of data on its activities since the Legislative Assembly of El Salvador suspended several constitutional guarantees after an escalation in homicides.

In the resolution issued this June 15, the UAIP of the Prosecutor’s Office resolved “that the requested statistical data report does not exist”.

The entity justified its resolution in the response given by the Department of Statistics of the FGR which, according to the resolution, indicated that “the databases of the automated system are in the process of being updated.”

He added that for this reason “statistical reports have not been generated, as requested.”

“In the present case, according to the response provided, the statistical report of the required information is non-existent,” indicated the UAIP.

The data requested was on the number of administrative arrest warrants issued by the Public Ministry between March 27 and June 7, in addition to the number of people detained with these orders.

The request also required the number of detained persons identified as gang members or not, in addition to the number of detained persons who died in the aforementioned period.

Congress approved the suspension of some rights, at the request of the Government of Nayib Bukele, with an exception regime that has already been extended —without studying the requests— on two more occasions for terms of 30 days each.

The president assured that the government is close to “winning” the so-called “war” against the gangs.

There are more than 40,400 people detained and some 3,000 complaints of alleged abuses received by local and international humanitarian organizations, in addition to the Office for the Defense of Human Rights (PDDH).

On Tuesday, three humanitarian entities warned that in El Salvador “crimes against humanity could be taking place” under the exceptional regime.

“The massive and arbitrary captures without judicial order as a criminal policy (…) and the forced disappearances of detainees whose whereabouts are not certain, could be configuring crimes against humanity,” they said in a statement.

The gangs, a phenomenon considered to be a legacy of the civil war (1980-1992) and which grew stronger with the deportation of gang members from the United States, have resisted the security plans implemented in the last four administrations.

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These gangs, legally considered terrorists, are responsible for the high homicide rates that the country has experienced, which began to decline since 2016 and their fall was accentuated with the arrival of Bukele to the Government.

An investigation by El Faro indicates that the escalation in homicides was due to the alleged breach of a pact between the Government and the Mara Salvatrucha gang (MS13). The Salvadoran president, however, has not responded to this accusation.