June 5, 2020

El Salvador resists recognizing forced displacement due to violence

The Government of El Salvador, headed by Nayib Bukele, is "reluctant" to recognize the forced displacement generated by violence that primarily affects vulnerable populations, a group of activists said Wednesday.

The Civil Society Bureau against Forced Displacement due to Violence and other sectors have demanded that the Government, since the administration of Salvador Sánchez Cerén (2014-2019), officially recognize the phenomenon, mainly generated by gangs.

Bianka Rodríguez, director of the Trans Communicating and Training Association (COMCAVIS-TRANS), told reporters that "resistance to recognize forced displacement still persists and the Bukele Executive joins it."

Rodríguez said that "the serious thing about not recognizing this phenomenon is the lack of attention for the victims, which leads to worrying human rights violations."

"There is still a lack of capacity to implement policies of care and protection for the displaced population because of the violence due to the lack of standardized care protocols that allow promoting protection and assistance to victims," ​​he said.

The activist also expressed concern about the "little openness" to human rights organizations and civil society by the Bukele Executive to seek solutions to this phenomenon 100 days after the new Government.

"The lack of openness for coordination spaces between civil society and human rights organizations with Bukele and with the government's public institutions is worrying," he said.

Therefore, the aforementioned table urged the Salvadoran president to "open spaces for the participation of various sectors that deal with cases of forced displacement to create mechanisms for the protection of victims and a comprehensive approach to the situation."

This organization recently presented a report that reports on the accompaniment of at least 483 cases of forced displacement with more than 1,000 victims, with which they seek to "characterize particularly vulnerable populations", such as women, children and the LGBTI community.

The criminal violence experienced by El Salvador forced more than 235,700 people to forcefully move during 2018, according to a national survey by the Jesuit Central American University (UCA) that was supported by the Central American human rights organization Cristosal.

The study indicates that 5.2% of the country's adult population had to "change their place of housing" to protect themselves "from a threat or act of violence."

This percentage is similar to that recorded in 2017 by a similar study of the UCA and higher than 4.9% computed in 2016.

The only State body that formally recognizes the phenomenon is the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ), since the Constitutional Chamber protected a displaced family in July 2018 and ordered Congress to issue a law for their attention.

The judges declared in the ruling that the Government, the Legislative Assembly and the Judicial Branch failed to comply with their attributions "due to the lack of recognition of the phenomenon of forced displacement and the dimensions of violence affecting the territories controlled by the gangs."

. (tagsToTranslate) Salvador (t) resists (t) recognize (t) displacement (t) violence

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