LGBTI community targeted in El Salvador
The regional initiative IM-Defensoras reported that two LGBTI activists, Andrea Ayala and Barbara Romero, have been subjected to a defamation campaign through social media. Smear campaigns are especially concerning in a conservative country like El Salvador in which feminist groups and LGBTI activists are constantly targeted by fundamental conservative groups. On 2nd February 2019, a transgender sex worker, Camila Diaz Cordova, was murdered with clear signs of torture. Diaz left El Salvador for the United States seeking asylum after being threatened for being a transgender person. In 2017 she was deported back to El Salvador. In 2018, 19 trans people were murdered in El Salvador; so far in 2019, three have been murdered.
In January 2019, the union of the city hall of Cuscatancingo protested against the arbitrary dismissals of 16 employees. They also demanded salary adjustments because the salaries of only a few civil servants were increased. Although there were moments of tension between the people protesting in front of the institution and the other employees, the protest ended without incident.
In November 2018, an event commemorating the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women was held. The event consisted of a workshop on the safety of women journalists in which the Ministry of Justice and Security, human rights institutions and journalist organisations participated. During the event, journalists denounced the lack of guarantees for many women journalists in El Salvador who end up being victims of sexual harassment and threats, which weakens freedom of expression in the Central American country. One of the most recent incidents against women journalists occurred on 10th February 2019 when Yeymi Muñoz, Director of the Instituto Nacional de Juventudes (National Institute for Youth), reported that she had been attacked on social media after making statements against the elected President of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele. Muñoz denounced that the statements against her have damaged her honor and image.
During the presidential elections held in early February 2019, the Asociacion de Periodistas de El Salvador (APES) documented 24 freedom of expression violations, 17 of which were the prohibition to enter polling stations.
On 29th January 2019, the feminist organisation Las 17 reported that its website was attacked and temporarily shut down. Las 17 is a feminist group that works for women's reproductive rights in El Salvador, one of the last countries in the Americas in which abortion is still considered illegal.
⚠️#AlertaDefensoras EL SALVADOR / Calumnias y campaña de desprestigio contra @AndreaMAyala1 y @AndieyBarbarita, defensoras de los derechos de las mujeres y población #LGBTI ▶️https://t.co/zOpqVS8ywS @ForstMichel @mbachelet @PauloAbrao @ONU_derechos @CIDH @RDefensorasSV @esmules pic.twitter.com/Py1kXLvqLL— IM-Defensoras (@IM_Defensoras) February 7, 2019
⚠️🆘 #AlertaDefensoras EL SALVADOR / Ataque cibernético contra el sitio WEB de @Las17ElSalvador ▶️https://t.co/tUthMGAetF @RDefensorasSV @ForstMichel @mbachelet @ONUMujeres @PDDHElSalvador @ONU_derechos @CIDH pic.twitter.com/mBlaVWuMbD— IM-Defensoras (@IM_Defensoras) February 16, 2019