Community radio station director murdered in El Salvador

Expression

On 10th March, community radio journalist Nicolás Humberto García was murdered, his body disfigured with machete and bullet wounds. His murder was  condemned by UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova. One local civil society leader said that García could have been killed because he 'refused to be recruited by the gangs, had banned criminals from using the radio to broadcast, and had granted police space on the radio as part of a violence-prevention program.' People within civil society report that, in previous journalist assassinations, armed individuals worked in complicity with police officers to commit their crimes. There were no reported cases of imprisoned journalists in the last year although self-censorship is continuously documented in the country because of the existence of illegal armed groups such as Mara Salvatrucha.  

Peaceful Assembly

The focus of most current protests in El Salvador is the lack of water in different regions of the country. None of these protests has turned violent and people have usually blocked roads as a way of getting attention for their grievances. Many roadblocks were removed following negotiations with officials, as happened with the blockage of the route to the country’s main airport. On 29th June, a lone citizen protested in front of the presidential palace against an increase in energy bills. The police removed her poster and threatened her with detention. Police stated that their actions were motivated by the need to maintain security in front of the president’s official residence.