On Wednesday, Salvadorans who were displaced by the civil war rejected the detention of environmental defenders from the Santa Marta community and members of the Social Economic Development Association (ADES).
Santa Marta Community Leaders Are Persecuted in El Salvador
"By detaining them, the authorities seek to reactivate mining projects, despite the fact that they are proscribed in the Law for the Prohibition of Metallic Mining, approved unanimously in 2017," the community leaders said.
ADES and Santa Marta "played a leading role in the protests against those projects," they recalled, pointing out that President Nayib Bukele intends to criminalize human rights defenders, environmental activists, and former guerrilla fighters.
"The government is promoting a narrative that denies history and the dismantling of the peace accords. This implies setbacks in the country's democratic institutions," the people said.
The social leaders denounced that Bukele's "state of exception" has allowed the suppression of constitutional guarantees and the arrest of many innocent people in the communities.
Miguel Gamez, Alejandro Lainez, Pedro Rivas, Teodoro Pacheco, Saul Rivas, and Arturo Serrano were arrested as a result of warrants issued by the Attorney General's Office, which accuses them of an alleged homicide committed during the civil war (1980-1992).
On Wednesday, the International Democratic Federation of Women (FDIM) also denounced the opening of a civil trial against its president, Lorena Peña.
"She has been a prominent social activist from the 70s to the present day. She was a guerrilla commander of the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) and a peace accord negotiator. She was also an FMLN lawyer (2009-2018) and president of the Legislative Assembly (2015-2016)," the FDIM recalled.
This organization denounced that the judicial processes against Peña are part of the typical "lawfare" that the Latin American elites direct against political and social leaders "who are considered by the dictatorships as obstacles to their domination plans."