The United States noted a setback in human rights guarantees in Guatemala and El Salvador in a report released Tuesday by the State Department.
The report, published annually, points to an increase in abuses by the State security forces in both governments, whom it accuses of maintaining “endemic” impunity both in the face of complaints against the police and the military and against the criminals. acts of corruption.
With respect to El Salvador, the report emphasizes the increase to attacks on the press which increased by more than 70% compared to 2020.
The Association of Journalists of El Salvador “recorded 173 violations of the practice of journalism, an increase of 73% compared to 2020,” says the report and reviews that among the reported acts are physical attacks, digital harassment, intimidation and the blocking of public information.
The report, which reviews the human rights situation in 198 countries around the world, also points to reports of disappearances and extrajudicial executions by the National Civil Police in El Salvador.
Specifically, the report details that the Office for the Defense of Human Rights in El Salvador is investigating seven cases of deaths at the hands of members of the police.
“Impunity persists in the security forces, the executive branch, and the judicial system,” the report says.
In Guatemala, the report emphasizes the allegations of corruption against government officials and the threats against judges and prosecutors who investigate the cases.
“Important anti-corruption prosecutors were fired and removed from significant cases and corrupt actors threatened independent judges,” explains the report, which mentions in particular the dismissal of the special prosecutor against impunityJuan Francisco Sandoval, by Attorney General Consuelo Porras.
Venezuela and Nicaragua
The report points out the persistence of the attack on freedoms in Venezuela and Nicaragua. With respect to the Central American country, the State Department emphasizes the “arbitrary imprisonment of almost 40 opposition figures” prior to the elections in Nicaragua. The report assures that the Nicaraguan government incurred in “generalized fraud” in the elections that led President Daniel Ortega to a fourth consecutive term.
Regarding Venezuela, the State Department also describes the December 2020 legislative elections as “rigged” and accuses President Nicolás Maduro of “usurping control over all branches of government.”
The report points to abuses by state forces, in particular echoing reports of “arbitrary killings.” “Non-profit organizations report that the police forces (…) carried out hundreds of [este tipo] of murders during the year,” the report states.
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