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Protesters marched from the University of El Salvador to the Civic Square, where they denounced that the authorities tried to prevent the demonstration.
On the 200th anniversary of El Salvador’s independence from Spain, at least 35 social sectors on Wednesday took to the streets to protests against President Nayib Bukele amidst his attempts to modify the Constitution to be reelected.
"This demonstration deserves to be recognized as the first one to be staged without ideological distinctions in our country. Students, environmentalists, transporters, Indigenous leaders, war veterans, ranchers, and judges are here to reject Bukele’s disrespect for the rule of law and democracy," stated Roberto Dubon, a digital activist and one of the demonstration's organizers.
So far, protesters have marched from the University of El Salvador to the Civic Square, where they denounced that the authorities tried to prevent the demonstration despite its peaceful development.
Police officers at a roadblock in San Julian City, for instance, confiscated circulation cards and licenses of who were heading towards San Salvador City. Protesters fear that the Bukele administration has given orders to the National Civil Police to block access routes to the capital city to prevent more citizens from participating in the protests.
El Salvador's social movements have mobilized on several occasions since the start of the month to reject Bukele’s Bitcoin law, militarization, political persecution and power grabs. #NoAlBitcoinpic.twitter.com/sSlta0J7VZ
Although Bukele has not directly referred to the protests so far, he tried to divert attention from them by announcing the supposed reactivation of the "Goat” wallet digital application, which allows performing transactions with Bitcoin.
He also announced free COVID-19 vaccination to children between 6 and 11 years of age, a policy objected by El Salvador’s Pediatric Association, which argues that there is not enough medical data to support this decision. Some activists fear that the Police will infiltrate civilian-clad intelligence agents into the demonstrations to cause riots and damage private property.
On Wednesday, Mayan Indigenous peoples and social leaders also protested against Guatemala’s 200 years of independence celebrations, arguing that their country’s sovereignty has not meant respect for their rights.
“Why celebrating 200 years of theft and dispossession? Instead, let’s join and fight together to force the government to comply with the Guatemalan people's access to education, health, and land," protesters stated.