El Salvador: Bukele and the military forcing their way into the Legislative Assembly is an affront to democracy

12/02/2020
Press release
en es

Paris, San Salvador, 12 February 2020.- FIDH - the International Federation for Human Rights - together with its undersigned member organisations, emphatically reject the recent forced entry last Sunday of the President of El Salvador Náyib Bukele together with a military squad into the Legislative Assembly of his country, in a clear act of intimidation in order to apply pressure to approve a bank loan managed by his presidency.

With the sudden entry into the Assembly, in addition to constituting an open attack on the pillars of the rule of law and the basic principles of democracy based on the separation of powers and respect for mechanisms to prevent the abuse of power, Bukele has given the Legislative Assembly an ultimatum for this approval, threatening to resort to other methods, such as dissolving the Assembly.

The urgency with which Bukele is trying to get the US $ 109 million loan approved, which is funded by the Central American Bank for Economic Integration, and which aims to modernise National Civil Police and the Armed Forces equipment, is also worrying.

This type of action is clearly unacceptable. Therefore, we urgently call on the government of El Salvador to immediately and definitively cease all types of pressure on the Legislative Assembly, as well as to dismiss any threat of intervention outside of democracy and the constitutional order.

FIDH and its member organisations will pay close attention to developments in El Salvador, trusting that the government will refrain from carrying out further actions that affect institutional life, peace, democracy and respect for human rights.

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