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El Salvador could become a prison where the president would be the warden: Father Vicente Chopin

The priest questions that in the country there is no commitment to education or reintegration and he wonders, what follows after imprisoning the thousands of alleged criminals?

El Salvador could become a prison where the President of the Republic, Nayib Bukele, be the warden (person who runs a prison). This is how Father Vicente Chopin considered it, when analyzing the security policies implemented by the Salvadoran government.

Soldiers register two young people in a passageway in the Los Santos neighborhood of Soyapango, on December 8, within the framework of the militarization of the
municipality. EDH Photo / Jessica Orellana

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More than 60,000 suspected gang members captured

The priest refers to the emergency regime that has been in place in the country since March 27, with the justification of fighting crime and which, according to official data, has already captured more than 60,000 suspected gang members. In addition, at the beginning of December, the Salvadoran president announced that he will impose military fences in the country’s large cities to intensify the capture of criminals.

Given these security measures, the religious questioned what follows after imprisoning the thousands of alleged criminals?

Chopin criticized that government authorities choose to seek the easiest solutions and implement media measures, instead of betting on education, prevention or reinsertion.

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“It is easier to repress a criminal than to reinsert him, that is, it would take a long time, so it is easier to ask for the death penalty and say: this ends here and why are we going to spend on building more universities, why are we going to spend on improving education, if we can lock up all these criminals,” the priest said in a recent interview with YSUCA radio.

“He will no longer be president but mayor”

He added: “What happens is that, then, El Salvador, if we don’t educate the people, it will become a prison and the president will no longer be president but a warden, that is, head of a prison and the prison will be call El Salvador”.

The father also analyzed the results of the surveys in which it is reflected that the citizens are happy with the security measures of the government, in the sense that they have had a breather in the matter of murders, gang harassment and others. However, Chopin states that people do not visualize themselves with these measurements for a long time.

Photo EDH/ Francisco Rubio

An exception regime for life?

“When people are asked what kind of society they want to live in or if they want to live in a state of emergency all their lives, they do not know how to answer. There is a problem there in the population,” the priest concluded.

National and international human rights organizations have strongly questioned Bukele’s security policies for violating the rights of citizens.

A report of Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Cristosal, which was published on December 7, concludes that El Salvador is currently under massive human rights violations due to the Exception Regime.

Photo EDH/ Francisco Rubio

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