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  • Military effective patrols in Puerto Libertad municipality, April, 2020

    Military effective patrols in Puerto Libertad municipality, April, 2020 | Photo: Twitter/LPGJudicial

Published 20 April 2020
Opinion

Bukele’s opposition and international organizations have criticized these severe measures.

El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele implemented the closure of the Puerto de La Libertad municipality. The measure was imposed after several videos appeared on social media networks showing street crowding in La Libertad. 

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"Everyone will have to be in their homes and 100% of businesses closed, until further notice," Bukele tweeted. The president also posted on his Facebook official profile: "no one shall be permitted to leave their homes, even for cause. [...] They will not be allowed to go out to buy food or to the pharmacy, nor will they be allowed to take anything home to them."

As Bukele stated, only those in a medical emergency would leave their homes. In those exceptions, citizens will circulate accompanied by a police agent. The Chief of State also warned other municipalities’ inhabitants to respect isolation measures.

The president designated Defense Minister Rene Francis Merino to enforce the mandatory social isolation, with military effectiveness and operatives in public spaces. 

Bukele’s opposition and international organizations have criticized these severe measures.​​​​​​ “This measure is disproportionate and therefore violates human rights,” said Jose Miguel Vivanco, director of Human Rights Watch's Americas division.

Other arguments pointed out the 30 day confinement of dozens of people in Beverly Hills Hotel in Puerto la Libertad. The isolated people assured that they are COVID-free after several tests and requested authorities release them. Bukele's opposition affirms the president is punishing the municipality due to the isolation complaints. 

"Today we would have liked to see a president who would attend to the desperation of the people at the Beverly Hills Hotel, but in return, we saw how his rage completely encircled the Port of La Libertad. That was it, his rage without the use of reason," said Andy Failer, Nuestro Tiempo political party representative. 

For its part, the Attorney General's Office (FGR) is investigating the legality of the health fence ordered by the Bukele, as confirmed yesterday by the Attorney General of the Republic, Raul Melara.

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