Republic of El Salvador
Republica de El Salvador
Joined United Nations: 24 October 1945
Human Rights as assured by their constitution
Updated 01 December 2012
6,090,646 (July 2012 est.)
President and Vice President elected on the same ticket by popular
vote for a single five-year term; election last held 15 March 2009
Next scheduled election: March 2014
HEAD OF GOVERNMENT
According to the El Salvador Constitution the President is both
the Chief of State and Head of Government
|DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS
Mestizo 90%, white 9%, Amerindian 1%
Roman Catholic 57.1%, Protestant 21.2%, Jehovah's Witnesses 1.9%, Mormon 0.7%, other religions 2.3%, none 16.8% (2003 est.)
Republic with 14 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento); Legal system is based on civil and Roman law with traces of
common law; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court
Executive: President and Vice President elected on the same ticket by popular vote for a single five-year term; election last held last held 15
March 2009 (next to be held in March 2014)
Legislative: Unicameral Legislative Assembly or Asamblea Legislativa (84 seats; members are elected by direct, popular vote to serve
elections: last held 11 March 2012 (next to be held in 2015)
Judicial: Supreme Court or Corte Suprema (judges are selected by the Legislative Assembly)
Spanish, Nahua (among some Amerindians)
Before the Spanish conquest, the area that now is El Salvador was composed of three great indigenous states and several
principalities. The indigenous inhabitants were the Pipils, a tribe of the nomadic people of Nahua settled down for a long time in
central Mexico. The region of the east was populated and governed by the Lencas. The North zone of the Lempa river was
populated and governed by Mayan the Chortis. Early in their history, the Pipil became one of the few Mesoamerican indigenous
groups to abolish human sacrifice. Otherwise, their culture was similar to that of their Aztec and Maya neighbours. Remains of
Nahua culture are still found at ruins such as Tazumal (near Chalchuapa), San Andrés (northeast of Armenia), and Joya de Cerén
(north of Colón). The first Spanish attempt to subjugate this area failed in 1524, when Pedro de Alvarado was forced to retreat by
Pipil warriors. In 1525, he returned and succeeded in bringing the district under control of the Captaincy General of Guatemala,
which retained its authority until 1821, despite an abortive revolution in 1811. It was Alvarado who named the district for El
Salvador ("The Savior.") The first "shout of independence" in El Salvador came in 1811, at the hands of criollo elite. Many
intellectuals and merchants had grown tired of the overpowering control that Spain still had in the American colonies, and were
interested in expanding their export markets to Britain and the United States. The Indigenous uprisings aimed at Spanish subjugation
plagued the territory at this time, and they were re-interpreted by the Republicans to serve their purpose and show popular support
for independence. Thus a movement grew amongst the middle class criollo and mestizo classes. Ultimately, the 1811 declaration of
independence failed when the vice royalty of Guatemala sent troops to San Salvador in order to crush the movement. The
momentum was not lost however, and many of the people involved in the 1811 movement became involved in the 1821 movement.
In 1832, Anastasio Aquino led an indigenous revolt against creoles and mestizos in Santiago Nonualco, a small town in the province
of San Vicente. The source of the discontent of the indigenous people was lack of land to cultivate. The problem of land distribution
has been the source of many political conflicts in Salvadoran history. The Central American federation was dissolved in 1838 and El
Salvador became an independent republic. El Salvador in its early history was impenetrably localized, aided by its geography, its
unbridged rivers that could only be crossed at fords and its lack of any linking highway that could take wheeled vehicles. The first
highway for wheeled traffic was begun in 1855. Thus the "Fourteen Families" (actually many dozens of families) that have controlled
El Salvador's history were all but independent territorial magnates. El Salvador's early history as an independent state—as with
others in Central America—was marked by frequent revolutions; not until the period 1900-30 was relative stability achieved. From
the 1930s to the 1970s, authoritarian governments employed political repression and limited reform to maintain power, despite the
trappings of democracy. The National Conciliation Party was in power from the early 1960s until 1979. Fidel Sánchez Hernández
was president from 1967 to 1972. In July 1969, El Salvador invaded Honduras in the short Football War. During the 1970s, the
political situation began to unravel. By 1979, leftist guerrilla warfare had broken out in the cities and the countryside, launching what
became a 12-year civil war. A cycle of violence took hold as rightist vigilante death squads in turn killed thousands. One of the most
infamous death squad assassinations occurred when the Archbishop of San Salvador, Óscar Romero, was murdered in 1980 after
having publicly urged the U.S. government not to provide military support to the El Salvadoran government. In 1989, ARENA's
Alfredo Cristiani won the presidential election with 54% of the vote. His inauguration on June 1, 1989, marked the first time that
power had passed peacefully from one freely elected civilian leader to another. In 1986, the Human Rights Commission of El
Salvador (CDHES) published a 165-page report on the Mariona men's prison. The report documented the routine use of at least
40 kinds of torture on political prisoners, and that U.S. servicemen often acted as supervisors. In early 1990, following a request
from the Central American presidents, the United Nations became involved in an effort to mediate direct talks between the two
sides. After a year of little progress, the government and the FMLN accepted an invitation from the UN Secretary General to meet
in New York City. On September 25, 1991, the two sides signed the New York City Accord. During the 12-year civil war, human
rights violations by both the government security forces and left-wing guerrillas were rampant. The accords established a Truth
Commission under United Nations auspices to investigate the most serious cases. The commission reported its findings in 1993. It
recommended that those identified as human rights violators be removed from all government and military posts, as well as
recommending judicial reforms. Thereafter, the Legislative Assembly granted amnesty for political crimes committed during the war.
Among those freed as a result were the El Salvador Armed Forces (ESAF) officers convicted in the November 1989 Jesuit
murders and the FMLN ex-combatants held for the 1991 murders of two U.S. servicemen. The peace accords also established the
Ad Hoc Commission to evaluate the human rights record of the ESAF officer corps. In accordance with the peace agreements, the
constitution was amended to prohibit the military from playing an internal security role except under extraordinary circumstances. El
Salvador is struggling to cope with growing gang violence, perpetrated by groups such as Mara Salvatrucha and the 18th Street
Gang. The violence is exacerbated by ongoing social unrest, economic devastation from the civil war, the breakdown of families and
social structures, and the presence of refugees turned gang members from the United States who came home or were deported to
El Salvador after 1996. Agriculture was one of the sectors of the economy that was most affected by the civil war. Therefore, one
of the biggest social problems in post-war El Salvador has been rural unemployment. This has been the explanation for increased
migration to the cities and to other countries, especially the United States. Unofficial estimates say that the United States is the home
of around 2 million Salvadorans. The ARENA governments that have been in presidency since 1989 have implemented a program
of policies of liberalization of the labor, goods and financial markets. In a context of unprotected markets, El Salvador's economic
development has therefore relied on the income provided by exports. Since the international coffee prices fluctuate so much,
ARENA governments have regarded them unreliable. Because of this, they have tried to implement economic policies that stimulate
the growth of non-traditional exports. The most important of these policies are measures that favor foreign investment in "maquilas",
which are tax-free industrial complexes for companies from abroad that outsource their production activities, in order to take
advantage of cheap labor force. However, the foreign currency coming into the Salvadoran economy has not been able to keep up
with the value of the goods imported by Salvadorans, which has implied a growing deficit in the trade balance. The only thing that
has kept the Salvadoran economy in balance is the growing transfers received by Salvadorans from their family members living
abroad, especially in the United States. American dollars became legal tender in El Salvador and the accounting unit of the financial
sector in January 2001. In the presidential elections of March 21, 2004, ARENA was victorious again, this time with the candidate
Elias Antonio Saca González, securing the party's fourth consecutive term. Fifteen years after the Peace Accords, the democratic
process in El Salvador rests on a precariously balanced system since the Legislative Assembly decreed an amnesty after the
accords. As a result of this amnesty, no one responsible for crimes carried out before, during and after the war has been convicted.
Currently, El Salvador's largest source of foreign currency is remittances sent by Salvadoreans abroad; these have been estimated at
over $2 billion. There are over 2 million Salvadorans living abroad in countries including the United States, Canada, Mexico,
Guatemala, Costa Rica, Australia, and Sweden. In the 2009 presidential elections, FMLN candidate Mauricio Funes, a former
journalist, won the presidency. This was the first victory of a leftist party in El Salvador's history. Funes took over as President June
1, 2009 together with Salvador Sanchez Ceren as Vice President.
Source: Wikipedia: History of El Salvador
The smallest country in Central America geographically, El Salvador has the third largest economy in the region. With the global
recession in 2009, real GDP contracted by 3.1%. The economy began a slow recovery in 2010 on the back of improved export
and remittances figures. Remittances accounted for 17% of GDP in 2011 and were received by about a third of all households. In
2006, El Salvador was the first country to ratify the Dominican Republic-Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR),
which has bolstered the export of processed foods, sugar, and ethanol, and supported investment in the apparel sector amid
increased Asian competition. El Salvador has promoted an open trade and investment environment and has embarked on a wave of
privatizations extending to telecom, electricity distribution, banking, and pension funds. The Salvadoran Government maintained
fiscal discipline during post-war reconstruction and reconstruction following earthquakes in 2001 and hurricanes in 1998 and 2005.
Taxes levied by the government include a value added tax (VAT) of 13%, income tax of 30%, excise taxes on alcohol and
cigarettes, and import duties. The VAT accounted for about 51.7% of total tax revenues in 2011. Calculated according to the
International Monetary Fund (IMF) standards, El Salvador's public external debt in December 2011 was about $12.95 billion or
57.3% of GDP. El Salvador's total public debt includes non-financial public sector debt, financial public sector debt, and central
bank debt. In 2006, El Salvador and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) - a United States Government agency - signed
a five-year, $461 million compact to stimulate economic growth and reduce poverty in the country's northern region, the primary
conflict zone during the civil war, through investments in education, public services, enterprise development, and transportation
infrastructure. In December 2011, the MCC approved El Salvador's eligibility to develop a proposal for a second compact for
Source: CIA World Factbook (select El Salvador)
The Nationalist Republican Alliance party, known popularly as ARENA (Spanish: Alianza Republicana Nacionalista), is El
Salvador's leading political party. It was created in 1982 by Major Roberto D'Aubuisson and others from the right wing, including
members of the military. His electoral fortunes were diminished by credible reports that he was involved in organized political
violence, including ordering the assassination of Archbishop Óscar Romero in 1980 and organizing governmental death squads.
Following the 1984 presidential election, ARENA began reaching out to more moderate individuals and groups, particularly in the
private sector. By 1989, ARENA had attracted the support of business groups, and Alfredo Cristiani won the presidency. Despite
efforts at reform, José Napoleón Duarte's PDC administration had failed to either end the insurgency or improve the economy.
Allegations of corruption, poor relations with the private sector, and historically low prices for the nation's main agricultural exports
also contributed to ARENA victories in the 1988 legislative and 1989 presidential elections.
Both the Truth Commission and the Joint Group identified weaknesses in the judiciary and recommended solutions, the most
dramatic being the replacement of all the magistrates on the Supreme Court. This recommendation was fulfilled in 1994 when an
entirely new court was elected. The process of replacing incompetent judges in the lower courts, and of strengthening the attorney
general's and public defender's offices, has moved more slowly. The government continues to work in all of these areas with the
help of international donors, including the United States. Action on peace-accord driven constitutional reforms designed to improve
the administration of justice was largely completed in 1996 with legislative approval of several amendments and the revision of the
Criminal Procedure Code--with broad political consensus.
El Salvador elects its head of state – the President of El Salvador – directly through a fixed-date general election whose winner is
decided by absolute majority. If an absolute majority (50% + 1) is not achieved by any candidate in the first round of a presidential
election, then a run-off election is conducted 30 days later between the two candidates who obtained the most votes in the first
round. The presidential period is five years, and re-election is not permitted. The most recent presidential election, held on 15
March 2009, resulted in the election of Mauricio Funes of FMLN, the first leftist president ever elected in El Salvador.
Source: Wikipedia: Politics of El Salvador
International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled on the delimitation of "bolsones" (disputed areas) along the El Salvador-Honduras
boundary, in 1992, with final agreement by the parties in 2006 after an Organization of American States (OAS) survey and a further
ICJ ruling in 2003; the 1992 ICJ ruling advised a tripartite resolution to a maritime boundary in the Gulf of Fonseca advocating
Honduran access to the Pacific; El Salvador continues to claim tiny Conejo Island, not identified in the ICJ decision, off Honduras in
the Gulf of Fonseca.
Transshipment point for cocaine; small amounts of marijuana produced for local consumption; significant use of cocaine
|HUMAN RIGHTS STATEMENTS, ANALYSIS AND CRITIQUES
|2011 Human Rights Report: El Salvador
Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
2011 Country Report on Human Rights Practices
May 25, 2012
El Salvador is a constitutional multiparty republic. In March 2009 voters elected Carlos Mauricio Funes Cartagena of the Farabundo
Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) as president for a five-year term in generally free and fair elections. Security forces reported to
The principal human rights problems were widespread corruption, particularly in the judicial system; weaknesses in the judiciary and the
security forces that led to a high level of impunity; and violence and discrimination against women.
Other human rights problems included isolated unlawful killings by security forces; lengthy pretrial detention; harsh, overcrowded, and
dangerously substandard prison conditions; child abuse and child prostitution; trafficking in persons; violence and discrimination against
sexual minorities; child labor; and inadequate enforcement of labor laws.
Although the government took steps to dismiss some officials who committed abuses in the penitentiary system and the police, impunity
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18 November 2010
Human Rights Committee
Geneva, 11–29 October 2010
Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under article 40 of the Covenant
Concluding observations of the Human Rights Committee
2. The Committee welcomes the submission of the sixth periodic report of the State party, which gives information on the measures
taken by the State party to promote the implementation of the Covenant. It also welcomes the delegation’s openness and frankness
in its replies to the Committee’s questions, the written replies to the list of issues (CCPR/C/SLV/Q/6/Add.1) and the additional
B. Positive aspects
3. The Committee welcomes the following measures taken since its consideration of the State party’s previous periodic report:
(a) The establishment, by Executive Decree No. 5, of 18 January 2010, of the National Commission on the Search for Children who
Disappeared during the Internal Armed Conflict;
(b) The establishment, by Executive Decree No. 57, of 5 May 2010, of the National Commission on Reparations for the Victims of
Human Rights Violations in the context of the Internal Armed Conflict;
C. Principal subjects of concern and recommendations
4. The Committee is concerned that there are no specific mechanisms in the State party to resolve any discrepancies between domestic
laws and the Covenant, or any procedure for ensuring that draft legislation is in line with the Covenant (article 2 of the Covenant).
The State party should take steps to bring its legislation into line with the Covenant. It should ensure that draft legislation is in line with
the Covenant and that judges, prosecutors and lawyers have access to in-service training on the provisions of the Covenant.
5. Although the State party has taken steps to address past human rights violations, such as the public recognition of responsibility by the
President and steps to honour the memory of the murdered Monsignor Óscar Romero, the Committee expresses concern that these
steps may not be enough to put an end to impunity for such violations, which include, according to the Truth Commission, thousands of
deaths and enforced disappearances. The Committee reiterates its concern that the General Amnesty Act of 1993 is still in force and
impedes the investigation of these events. Although the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court provided a narrow interpretation of
the Amnesty Act in 2000, the Committee is concerned that this judicial precedent has not resulted in practice in the reopening of
investigations into these serious events. In particular, no investigations into the murder of Monsignor Óscar Romero have been pursued
since 1993 (articles 2, 6 and 7 of the Covenant).
The Committee reiterates its recommendation that the State party should repeal the General Amnesty Act or should amend it to make it
fully compatible with the Covenant. The State party should actively pursue investigations into all human rights violations documented by
the Truth Commission, notably the murder of Monsignor Óscar Romero. The State party should ensure that those responsible are
identified in the investigations and prosecuted and punished in proportion to the seriousness of the crimes.
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Freedom In The World 2012 Report
Political Rights Score: 2
Civil Liberties Score: 3
President Mauricio Funes and several right-wing political parties tried to weaken the Constitutional Court in June 2011 with Decree 743,
which required all decisions to be unanimous; the decree was quickly repealed in July in response to protests. The government continued
to combat corruption in line with a new transparency and access to information law that was passed in March 2011. El Salvador also
faced serious economic and social problems during the year, including an escalating murder rate and a weak economy.
While the FMLN has supported Funes on several issues since taking office, important disagreements have complicated their relationship,
causing a rift between the president and his party. Funes was accused by some on the left of moving towards the center after taking
office and deviating from the FMLN’s original program. While Funes’ national approval ratings were still well above 60 percent in late
2011, long-standing party members distanced themselves from Funes in the run up to the 2012 elections.
Following a Constitutional Court ruling in April 2011, two of the country’s longest running political parties, the PDC and PCN, were
disbanded due to their failure to have met the minimum required number of votes in the 2004 elections.
Decree 743—which would require the Constitutional Court to reach unanimous decisions before rulings could take effect—was signed it
into law in June without public debate. It is widely believed that Funes and right-wing political parties sought to preempt court
involvement in determining the constitutionality of the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) and the 1993 Amnesty Law that
protects those responsible for thousands of killings and disappearances during the country's 12-year armed conflict by passing this
decree. In the weeks that followed, protestors from across the political spectrum claimed that the decree violated the principal of an
independent judiciary. Congress repealed the decree in July in what was generally regarded as a victory for the rule of law and judicial
The global economic crisis continued to have a significant effect on the country, as the economy is closely linked to that of the United
States through trade and remittances. Analysts estimate that the economy grew 1.5 percent in 2011—one of the lowest rates in all of
Latin America. However, remittances totaled $3.64 billion dollars in 2011, a 6.4 percent increase over 2010. It is estimated that between
30 and 40 percent of all Salvadorans live in poverty, which has fueled social alienation, as well as organized crime and violence.
El Salvador is an electoral democracy. The 2009 elections were deemed free and fair, although several irregularities were reported. The
president is elected for a five-year term, and the 84-member, unicameral Legislative Assembly is elected for three years. The two largest
political parties are the conservative ARENA and the leftist FMLN. However, ARENA’s political influence has declined since a number of
deputies abandoned the party in 2009 to establish GANA.
Corruption remains a serious problem at all levels of government. After addressing President Mauricio Funes’ concerns, the Legislative
Assembly passed a law in March 2011 to facilitate transparency and to combat corruption, which requires public entities to provide
information in order to promote accountability and to encourage participation and public oversight. The reforms will go into effect in
early 2012. In April 2011, the Attorney General’s Office arrested former ARENA health minister Guillermo Maza and eight others on
charges of defrauding the state of more than $3 million in the reconstruction of a hospital damaged by the 2001 earthquakes. Maza was
placed under house arrest in November. El Salvador was ranked 80 out of 183 countries surveyed in Transparency International’s 2011
Corruption Perceptions Index.
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El Salvador: The time to deliver justice for the El Calabozo massacre is now
1 November 2012
OPEN LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT OF EL SALVADOR
Today, as the memory of victims of enforced disappearance and those whose final resting place and fate remain unknown is honoured in
El Salvador, Amnesty International issues an urgent public call to the President of the Republic. It is time to provide answers to survivors
of the El Calabozo massacre, the Salvadoran people, and the international community. More than 200 men, women and children were
killed in what is today known as the “El Calabozo” massacre, which took place on 22 August 1982 by the Amatitán River. The civilians –
whole families, from babies who had not yet even taken their first steps, to elderly grandparents – had arrived at the banks of the river
seeking refuge for the night from the wave of violence unleashed by the Salvadoran army in the region of San Vicente.
At daybreak on 22 August they found that the army had arrived. Witnesses tell how the officer in charge gave the order to shoot, and
how soldiers from the Atlacatl Battalion proceeded to massacre over 200 people, raping girls and women before killing them. According
to witness reports, the soldiers threw acid on some of the bodies, and the river swept away many of the dead.
This week, while many Salvadorans visit the graves of their loved ones, there will be other families who still do not know the
whereabouts of their relatives, and who do not understand why their deaths remain in impunity. After three decades, it is time for the
Salvadoran state to finally accept responsibility for the El Calabozo massacre, and to recognize and offer reparation for the scars which
this terrible crime has left on the lives of survivors. Amnesty International has closely followed the human rights situation in El Salvador
for decades. During the internal armed conflict, Amnesty International worked to safeguard the human rights of victims of abuses and
violations under successive governments.
The organization reminds the President that by virtue of the regional and international treaties to which the state is party, the Salvadoran
government is accountable to victims of human rights violations and / or their relatives. This includes ensuring access to truth, justice and
reparation. The organization recognizes the importance of the step which your administration took on 16 January this year, when the
Salvadoran state officially accepted responsibility for the El Mozote massacre. During the speech which you gave to mark the 20th
anniversary of the Peace Accords, you spoke of the obligations owed to victims of human rights violations during the conflict years, and
of the state’s commitment to ensuring they received adequate reparation.
Mr. President, on Monday 5 November members of the Madeleine Lagadec Centre for Human Rights, representing survivors and
relatives, will hand deliver the signatures of over 5,000 Amnesty International activists and supporters from across the world to you.
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US: Death at Guantanamo Underscores Need to Close Facility
Adnan Latif’s Death Highlights Trauma of Indefinite Detention Without Trial
September 11, 2012
(Washington, DC) – The death of a detainee at Guantanamo Bay on September 8, 2012, underscores the need for the United States
government to either charge detainees in civilian court or release them. The death of Adnan Latif, a Yemeni who suffered severe
emotional distress and had attempted suicide several times, highlights the suffering experienced by people serving long-term indefinite
detention without trial.
“The death of yet another detainee should draw the world’s attention to the ongoing tragedy of indefinite detention without trial at
Guantanamo,” said Andrea Prasow, senior counterterrorism counsel at Human Rights Watch. “The Obama administration should follow
through on its longstanding promise to close Guantanamo.”
Latif was first detained by Pakistani military authorities in late 2001 and sent to Guantanamo in January 2002. In 2004, Latif told a US
military review board that he went to Pakistan for medical treatment for injuries he had suffered in a car accident and later to
Afghanistan. The board rejected his plea to search for medical records that would support his account. The medical records, later
obtained by Latif's lawyers and sent to Human Rights Watch, described acute head injuries and recommended that he seek an additional
As early as 2004, US Defense Department officials recommended Latif’s release, acknowledging that he took no part in any terrorist
training. In 2007, Bush administration officials also recommended his release. Yet Latif and his lawyers did not receive this information
until it was disclosed in federal court proceedings in 2010.
During his detention, Latif indicated he was experiencing severe hardship. In May 2010, before he even knew about the prior release
recommendations, he wrote to his lawyer: “You are still looking for justice and seeking hearings [while] I am being pushed toward
death.” Latif frequently engaged in hunger strikes, during which military personnel would force-feed him through a tube forced down his
nose. His lawyer described arriving for legal visits and finding him emaciated, wearing a protective “suicide smock.”
“It is hard to imagine the suffering these men undergo after 10 plus years of detention without an opportunity for a criminal trial,”
Prasow said. “Whether US lawmakers realize it or not, Guantanamo remains a serious obstacle to promoting human rights abroad.”
Following a challenge to the lawfulness of Latif’s detention, in 2010 US district judge Henry Kennedy, Jr., ordered Latif released, finding
his story “plausible.” But instead of returning Latif to his home country of Yemen or seeking his resettlement in a third country, the
Obama administration appealed the order to the DC circuit court, which in 2011 reversed Judge Kennedy’s decision.
The DC appeals court’s ruling not only affected Latif’s case, but also severely undercut the ability of other Guantanamo detainees to
challenge their detention. It held that government evidence should be afforded a “presumption of regularity” requiring lower court judges
to presume the accuracy of evidence obtained by government officials. This included information obtained in chaotic battlefield settings,
unless there was clear evidence to the contrary, effectively shifting the burden to the detainee to prove that the evidence was false or
unreliable. In June 2012, the Supreme Court decided against hearing the case, leaving the appeals court’s ruling the law governing
Guantanamo detainee cases.
Following Latif’s death, 167 detainees remain at Guantanamo. Only six of them are facing active charges. Previously, the Obama
administration had approved 57 of the remaining detainees for transfer, with an additional 30 Yemenis conditionally approved for
transfer. Forty-eight detainees were initially recommended for ongoing indefinite detention; two of those original 48 have since died.
Information on which detainees were designated for transfer and which were designated for ongoing indefinite detention has not been
made public. Following the so-called Christmas Day airliner bombing attempt in December 2009 by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a
Nigerian who had trained in Yemen, the administration imposed a moratorium on transfers to Yemen.
In 2010 and 2011, Congress imposed restrictions on the transfer of detainees out of Guantanamo, requiring the administration to sign
certifications detailing the release plans and indicating that appropriate steps had been taken in the receiving country to mitigate any risk
the return might pose. The administration has yet to provide such a certification in any case. In April 2012, two Uighur detainees –
previously determined to be detained unlawfully – were resettled to El Salvador and in July 2012 Ibrahim al Qosi was returned to his
native Sudan under the terms of his plea agreement in a military commission. Both these transfers fell within statutory exemptions to the
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TRANSLATED FROM SPANISH BY GOOGLE TRANSLATE
Friday September 21, 2012 14:20
Mr. President Mauricio Funes Speech President to receive the National Policy against Trafficking
Friday, September 21, 2012
I appreciate the presence of the authorities of the agencies of the National Council Against Trafficking in Persons and who have work
and the development of this important document.
Douglas Truth already has been very explicit in identifying the problem, make a proper diagnosis, the same, not only in our country but
throughout the region.
And it was also very explicit in making the necessary encouragement to why this is important to have national policy.
I'll just make some clarifications around, then to express my appreciation for the work they have done and of course already having a
national policy facing this scourge.
Policy definitions contained in this document that I received could not have come at a better time, since precisely this next Sunday marks
the International Day Against Human Trafficking established by the World Conference Against Trafficking.
But above all is an initiative strongly needed for our country and for the entire region, as in El Salvador and elsewhere in Central America,
this is a subject of great concern that should be a priority of the United.
Just yesterday, the United Nations warned of an increase in human trafficking in Central America, where the main victims, as we
listened to Douglas, women, boys and girls.
In our region, of course that this phenomenon occurs in a more marked than in other countries, but no country is exempt from this
problem, I would say that it reaches all regions of the planet.
In Latin America, the most conservative figures indicate that a million and a half people are victims of human trafficking, but some say
independent NGOs in Latin America, in sub continent are about five million people who are forced into prostitution or forced labor, or
both at once.
Therefore, this national policy hands today receipt of the commission of its chairman, the Deputy Minister of Justice and Security, is an
essential tool in this struggle we are waging against the crime that plagues our nations struggle with which we undertook from the
beginning of my mandate for over three years.
Very soon we will prepare a bill that contemplates the signs made by the commission to raise further consideration by the Legislative
I am convinced that the struggle against organized crime, the crime and violence of all kinds, including of course an essential ingredient
strongly as violence against women and human trafficking now, are the major challenges of this government, this country.
We have assumed full responsibility for promoting policies and actions that provide greater security and social peace to our people. This
is a commitment that we can not delegate and we will not give up.
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Message PDDH under the commemoration of the World Day of the Response to HIV
01 December 2012
On December 1, World Day Response to HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), besides being a day to remember those who have died
from this infection, it is also timely to highlight the urgent efforts required drive our country towards education and awareness to the
general public, for the prevention, quality of life and respect for the Human Rights of people with HIV. The initiative to dedicate a day to
the response to HIV, emerged at the World Summit of Ministers of Health in January 1988, in London, England, and later the World
Health Organization declared that year on December 1, as World AIDS Day. Since then, the initiative has been followed by governments,
international organizations and people living with HIV worldwide, currently being referred to as "World Day of the Response to HIV".
Therefore, as Attorney for the Defense of Human Rights, on this date, I consider very important to reflect on the state's obligation to
enforce Salvadoran the full realization of human rights of people with HIV, taking into account the constitutional legal and the Attorney
for the Defense of Human Rights to ensure the respect and guarantee the same. This Office recognizes that the World Day Response to
HIV, is an opportunity to awaken the interest of the Salvadoran population to join the solidarity actions in order to eliminate any stigma
and discrimination against people with HIV.
In late 2010, about 34 million people living with HIV worldwide  . In our country, according to the latest report of epidemiological
data accumulated since 1984, issued by the United System of Monitoring and Evaluation of Epidemiological Surveillance, Ministry of
Health, the number of cases of people infected with HIV amounts to 29.083 persons, of whom 17,813 are men and 11,270 are women,
the most affected age group between 15 to 54 years. Referring to deaths associated with HIV, has advanced for the period 2008-2010,
the number of records reported is an average of 280 deaths per year. The people who suffer most from the impact of the pandemic in
our country between the ages of 20 to 49, considered economically productive workforce.
In that sense, in my capacity as Attorney for the Defense of Human Rights in the light of the Declaration of Commitment on HIV / AIDS
2001 Political Declaration on HIV / AIDS and the Political Declaration 2006 HIV / AIDS: "intensifying our efforts to eliminate HIV /
AIDS," June 2011, all of the United Nations Organization (UN), make the following considerations:
Consequently, as Attorney for the Defense of Human Rights, fulfilling my constitutional and legal mandate, I spoke out against all forms
of stigma and discrimination against people with HIV, while I make a fervent appeal to the authorities of Salvadoran State to continue
working with the greatest commitment and review those aspects that should strengthen the response to HIV, as well as to promote the
fulfillment of the political and legal commitments made by national and international El Salvador.
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Upside Down World: Building a New Society Through Education
October 1, 2012.
Published in Upside Down World
Written by Madeleine Conway, member of the University of Santa Cruz CISPES Chapter
A participant in El Salvador’s National Literacy Program (NLP) stands before a crowd and reads, “My name is Rosa Elena Hidalgo…I
would like to thank the Ministry of Education, the El Paisnal mayor’s office, and the teachers. Thanks to their effort, we, the adults, are
learning to read and write since as children for various reasons we didn’t. Today our dreams are coming true.” Across the country, tens
of thousands of people like Rosa are learning how to read and write.
Under Salvador Sánchez Cerén, former Minister of Education, current Vice President, and historic leader of the FMLN (Farabundo Martí
Front for National Liberation), the Ministry of Education (MinEd) has changed dramatically. For the first time in El Salvador’s history,
the government is providing children with uniforms, school materials, and a daily meal, while at the same time combating illiteracy
among adults. Since 2010, the MinEd has eradicated illiteracy in six municipalities and hopes to declare El Salvador’s illiteracy rate to be
4 percent or less by 2014.
This summer, CISPES accompanied the NLP for three weeks – visiting dozens of community literacy circles, promoting the program on
local and national media, and helping conduct a literacy census – as the first international volunteer brigade to answer the government’s
call and support the literacy program. Twenty-eight university students, teachers, workers, mothers, and retirees participated in this
historic literacy brigade, bringing hundreds of donated notebooks, pencils and eyeglasses in tow as material support.
The first level of the NLP program uses a Cuban methodology to teach Salvadorans over the age of 14 how to read and write. They
offer two more levels – up to a sixth grade education – after which participants have the option of receiving a high school degree
through other MinEd adult education programs. In the first level, many participants start out with shaking hands as they hold a pencil for
the first time. However, by their graduation after 5 months, they can read, write and solve mathematical problems at a 2nd-grade level.
The second and third levels of the NLP continue to build comprehension, composition and math skills to ensure that participants not only
know how to sign their names, but also understand the documents they sign. When the program began in 2010, about 680,000
Salvadorans, or 18% of the population could not read or write. In two years, over 130,000 adults have become literate.
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Mauricio Funes Cartagena
President since 1 June 2009
Salvador Sanchez Cerén
Vice President since 1 June 2009
Mauricio Funes Cartagena
President since 1 June 2009