Organizations demand the release of salvadoran social leaders | News

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Some 250 organizations from 29 countries asked this Friday the Salvadoran government to release and drop the charges against water defenders detained on January 11, under accusations of crimes that correspond to the time of the civil war (1980-1992).


They denounce the illegal detention of Salvadoran social leaders

A note from organizations from countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe and North America recalls that on January 11, by order of the Salvadoran Prosecutor's Office, the Police arrested five prominent water defenders: Salvador: Miguel Ángel Gámez, Alejandro Lainez Garcia, Pedro Antonio Rivas Lainez, Antonio Pacheco, and Saul Agustin Rivas Ortega.

In this same sense, they report that these social leaders were part of the "historic and successful campaign that convinced the Legislative Assembly of El Salvador to unanimously approve the Metal Mining Prohibition Law in 2017", with the purpose of saving the rivers of that Central American nation.

For this reason, they recall, in 2009, the Institute for Policy Studies (lPS) honored the coalition that several of the five helped to build, the National Table against Metal Mining, with the Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Award of lPS.

They denounce that "thanks in part to its misguided adoption of Bitcoin, the Salvadoran government is under enormous pressure to find new income", for which Nayib Bukele would be "considering revoking the ban on mining and allowing the
environmentally destructive mining.

However, the five are indicted by El Salvador's Attorney General for an alleged murder more than 30 years ago during El Salvador's brutal civil war that claimed the lives of 75,000 people, in which "a US-backed dictatorship and right-wing death squads killed tens of thousands."

For this reason, signatories from 29 countries denounce that instead of investigating or prosecuting those responsible for the dozens of cases of human rights violations and crimes against humanity that the Salvadoran military committed against the community of Santa Marta, including the murders After the massacre of the Lempa River in 1980, where 30 people were murdered and 189 disappeared, the government of Nayib Bukele "is now re-victimizing the community by attacking its leaders, who have openly demonstrated against the policies of the current government." .

In short, the organizations demand "the release of the five Water Defenders, that the case against them be withdrawn, and if this is not the case, that they be allowed to await their trial in their community."

The day before, a mobilization of Salvadoran organizations outside the judicial headquarters demanded the release of the arrested social leaders and blamed the Bukele government for the persecution to which they are subjected.

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