El Salvador extends state of emergency against gangs, which has already left 55,000 detainees in custody

El Salvador’s National Assembly has approved a new one-month extension of the state of emergency decreed at the end of March to toughen the fight against gangs and which, so far, has already resulted in more than 55,000 arrests.

The Minister of Justice and Public Security, Gustavo Villatoro, has exposed before the legislative headquarters the “undeniable” results of an initiative that the president, Nayib Bukele, has also defended as a success in recent months. According to the government, more than 1,600 weapons and more than $1.2 million in assets have been seized.

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The Assembly, controlled by the ruling party, has given the green light to the extension with 67 votes in favor and 14 against. The president of the House, Ernesto Castro, has defended on Twitter that it is the way to “continue bringing peace to the communities and defending the right to life of Salvadorans”.

Bukele, who will run for reelection in 2024, has defended the state of exception as a key instrument of his security plan, in the face of Human Rights organizations that question the excessive powers granted by this regime to the security forces.

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