In recent months, El Salvador has seen a significant increase in violence, as shown by the more than 600 homicides recorded in June and the various attacks perpetrated against #HumanRights defenders and organizations, especially against members of the #LGTBI movement. This coincides with the government’s return to “tough” security strategies, such as the creation of rapid reaction military battalions, large police and military deployments, and mass arrests; all of which have already been proven ineffective in both the past and other countries.
We at IM-Defensoras express our concern at the overall context of social and institutional violence in El Salvador and in particular at the increase in threats, intimidation, harassment and attacks against organizations and defenders of #HumanRights, especially in the #LGTBI sector.
Examples of this are cases like Francela Mendez, of the Colectivo Alejandría, killed last May 31; the recent assault against Alex Peña, #LGBTI community advocate and member of Generación de Hombres Trans de El Salvador, HT El Salvador (El Salvador Generation of Trans men), who, after being beaten and arbitrarily arrested by agents of the Policia Nacional Civil, PNC (National Civil Police), was denied his right to medical care; or the raid on the offices of the #LGBTI organization ESMULES, where documents and work equipment were stolen. These actions all remain characterized by impunity and by the negligent and even hostile attitude on the part of those authorities responsible for protecting organizations and individuals defending #HumanRights.
Faced with this serious situation, we demand:
-an effective, factual and unbiased investigation led by the Fiscalía General de la República, FGR (Attorney General’s Office) on the murders of human rights defenders;
-a serious and responsible investigation by the Inspectoría General de Seguridad Pública (Public Security Inspector General) and PNC Internal Affairs regarding the assaults against Alex Peña;
the creation of mechanisms to protect #HumanRights defenders, as repeatedly recommended by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to the Salvadoran government.