Bukele asks to extend the state of emergency against gangs for the 16th time

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The government of Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele asked Congress on Tuesday for a new extension of the emergency regime that has kept constitutional rights suspended for more than years with a heavy-handed policy against gangs, which it accuses of most of the crimes. crimes committed in the Central American country.

This is the sixteenth extension requested by the government of that regime, which is applied from the end of March 2022amid concerns and complaints from human rights organizations.

“With the exception regime, Salvadorans live in peace. We have given them hope and freedom to move safely to different places. We achieved it after having lost generations due to the cowardice of previous governments”, reiterated the Minister of Security, Gustavo Villatoro, about the arguments used by the government to restrict rights such as the representation of lawyers for detainees or that of association.

Villatoro formalized the request before Congress, which must pronounce itself with the approval or rejection of the measures. Until now, the Legislature with an official majority has not denied the renewal of the emergency regime, which has already lasted for 472 days.

Each month, it is necessary to request the extension. The previous extension approved on June 14 expires on Saturday, July 15. If the new extension started on July 16, it would be in force until August 14.

The Bukele government also presented to Congress an initiative to reform the Special Law Against Organized Crime to increase by two-thirds the maximum sentence of 45 years in prison against the leaders of these criminal structures known as maras or gangs.

He also asked to approve transitory provisions to prosecute those captured during the exception regime “by structures.” Gangs are made up of groups or cliques and the government seeks to jointly prosecute them.

According to the Constitution, the emergency regime must be approved for 30 days and can be extended, “if the circumstances that motivated it continue.”

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Written by Editor TLN

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