For the past 22 months, El Salvador has been in a “state of exception,” extended every thirty days, that has allowed President Bukele’s administration to suspend basic rights such as freedom of speech and assembly and detain tens of thousands of people without warrants as part of a plan to fight criminal gangs.
Now President Bukele has reorganized the judiciary in order to allow him to run for reelection despite Constitutional barriers. He recently temporarily stepped down in order to campaign for reelection full time.
U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar is circulating a letter from Congressmembers to the U.S. State Department to request that they do the following:
- Send an unequivocal message to El Salvador on the importance of respecting constitutional and democratic norms;
- Forcefully denounce the excesses of the State of Exception, including human rights violations;
- Consider direct economic development funding to Salvadoran civil society partners rather than the Salvadoran central government;
- Restrict security assistance to Salvadoran police and military, in line with existing human rights laws.
Write to your representative in Congress using the form below to ask that they join the letter to the State Department. The deadline for signatures is Close of Business, Jan. 29.