El Salvador

El Salvador: Thousands join LGBTQIA+ Pride March

On 25th June 2022, thousands of people joined the LGBTQIA+ Pride March in San Salvador. A key demand of the demonstration was the approval of a Gender Identity Law that would create an institutionalised mechanism for legal recognition of gender identity for transgender persons. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

El Salvador: Thousands join LGBTQIA+ Pride March

El Salvador: three years of Bukele government marked by human rights crisis

Monitoring by national and international human rights groups has reported mass human rights violations taking place in El Salvador under the state of exception. As previously reported on the CIVICUS Monitor, President Nayib Bukele first declared a state of exception on 27th March 2022, following a surge in gang-related killings. This measure has been extended three times since then. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

El Salvador: three years of Bukele government marked by human rights crisis

El Salvador: public vilification of civil society and press who criticise government decisions

On 25th May 2022, El Salvador’s Legislative Assembly extended the state of exception regime for the third consecutive month. Between 27th March and 26th April 2022, the first month after the enactment of a state of exception in El Salvador, local civil society groups registered over 338 complaints of power abuses by security forces, most frequently cases of arbitrary detention. Read more

El Salvador: public vilification of civil society and press who criticise government decisions

El Salvador: human rights defenders arbitrarily detained during state of emergency

On 24th April 2022, El Salvador’s Legislative Assembly extended the state of emergency for another 30 days, following a request from President Nayib Bukele.

Since a state of emergency was established to address gang-related violence, about 16,000 people were detained for alleged connections with criminal groups. Amid the crackdown, there have been reports of arbitrary detentions and police officers being made to fulfil arrest quotas, encouraging further due process violations. Human rights groups and journalists speaking out about abuses have faced stigmatisation and public vilification.
Read more  |  Read in Spanish

El Salvador: human rights defenders arbitrarily detained during state of emergency

El Salvador: freedom of expression under threat amid rising gang violence

On 27th March 2022, El Salvador’s Legislative Assembly decreed a state of exception in an attempt to halt an increase in murders, which put a strain on the government’s security strategy with 76 killings in just two days. The measure had been requested by Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele, following a weekend of extreme violence. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

El Salvador: freedom of expression under threat amid rising gang violence

Spyware found on devices of 35 journalists and civil society activists in El Salvador

On 12th January 2022, a joint investigation by civil society groups Access Now, Front Line Defenders, The Citizen Lab, Amnesty International, Fundación Acceso, and SocialTIC showed that NSO Group’s Pegasus technology was used in El Salvador for the surveillance of journalists and civil society. Pegasus spyware was discovered on mobile phones belonging to at least 30 journalists in the country, 23 of whom worked with news outlet El Faro. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Spyware found on devices of 35 journalists and civil society activists in El Salvador

Foreign Agents Law would restrict fundamental freedoms in El Salvador

On 9th November 2021, President Nayib Bukele’s government presented to the National Assembly a draft Foreign Agents Law that could be used to stifle civil society and independent media. The proposed legislation would limit legitimate activities of organisations and individuals who receive funding or support from abroad. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Foreign Agents Law would restrict fundamental freedoms in El Salvador

El Salvador: anti-government protests against authoritarian measures and Bitcoin implementation

On 3rd September 2021, the newly installed judges in the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court published a resolution stating that presidents can serve two consecutive terms. The decision, taken by the magistrates appointed after lawmakers allied with President Nayib Bukele replaced five of the Court’s former judges, paves the way for Bukele to run for re-election in 2024. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

El Salvador: anti-government protests against authoritarian measures and Bitcoin implementation

El Salvador: attacks on journalists and civil society

On 21st July 2021, burglars broke into the offices of civil society organisation CO-MADRES and stole sensitive documents on investigations into disappearances during El Salvador’s armed conflict. Read more

El Salvador: attacks on journalists and civil society

El Salvador: Step backward for transparency in proposal to reform Access to Public Information Law

On 7th July 2021, the Nayib Bukele government presented a bill which would make regressive reforms to El Salvador’s Access to Public Information Law (Ley de Acceso a la Información Pública), undermining government transparency. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

El Salvador: Step backward for transparency in proposal to reform Access to Public Information Law