October 31, 2020

They recommend to the Salvadoran Congress to evaluate alternatives to a state of emergency



Two social organizations in El Salvador recommended this Monday to the Legislative Assembly to evaluate alternative measures to the state of emergency requested by the Government to contain the rise in COVID-19 infections, which have claimed the lives of at least 164 people in this country.

El Salvador has experienced an escalation of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infections during June and reached its highest record in a single day this Sunday with 239 new cases and 12 deaths.

This rise occurs at a time when the country enters the final part of the first stage of the economic recovery, so the Government requested a state of emergency for June 15 on June 24 to apply a new national quarantine.

The human rights organization Cristosal recommended that the deputies studying the proposal of the Nayib Bukele Executive consult with experts to make an “adequate weighing of the measure or, on the contrary, to evaluate others that do not require the suspension of rights.”

“To decide on the origin of the emergency regime, the impact on the economic, social and cultural rights of the most vulnerable population due to the previous quarantine must be taken into account,” which lasted for 85 uninterrupted days, the entity said.

He noted that the Government “has not provided scientific evidence” to determine the need for a state of emergency and national quarantine, so “it is not possible to determine the suitability” to reduce contagion and avoid the collapse of the health system.

For its part, the Citizen Action organization called on the legislators, in case of approving the Government’s request, to “regulate all possible aspects of it and not leave the establishment of other restrictions to the discretion of the Ministry of Health or other dependency of the Executive. “

He also warned that the government initiative “replicates the punitive vision” applied during the previous quarantine by establishing the arrest and forced confinement of people who skip the confinement.

“This sanction is inadmissible because it establishes an arbitrary distinction between people who do have justification for leaving and those who do not” and “we are in the presence of a real sanction in the form of illegal detention,” the citizen platform stressed.

This measure was previously applied by the Executive and it was prohibited by the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court as it did not have the backing of legislation.

El Salvador is in the stage of massive infections of the coronavirus with 6,173 confirmed cases, of which 2,361 remain active, 3,648 patients recover and 164 people have died. Suspicious cases total 6,390.

The Constitutional Chamber, which President Nayib Bukele accuses of withdrawing powers to deal with the pandemic, has ordered the Government and Congress on at least two occasions to agree to a law to regulate confinement and sanitary measures.

The country was left without regulations to face the pandemic after the constitutional judges annulled a good part of the decrees that regulated quarantine for violating the Constitution, given that the Government cannot suspend rights, and after the failure of negotiations between the Executive and Legislative.

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