AMERICA/EL SALVADOR - Prison emergency: the new President’s fight against violence, with the support of the Church

Tuesday, 9 July 2019 violence   prisoners   local churches  


San Salvador (Agenzia Fides) - The average daily number of murders in El Salvador between June 1 and July 6 was 7.6, thus much lower than the daily average of 12.7 murders that occurred during the previous government. The government of the new President of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, at the head of the country since June 1, has declared that "the situation of emergency in prisons will continue until gangs stop killing".
With the new legal provisions for detention centers, the President, during a press conference held yesterday, explained that there are actual results and it will have to be continued, despite some judges highlight that this type of law should last only 15 days. Prison measures have been adopted since June 22 as a comprehensive strategy to permanently stop gang operations, which continue to organize crime in society from prison.
In this regard, a meeting of the Minister of Justice with the President of the Supreme Court was held on 5 July to speed up many trials and verify the efficiency of the courts as soon as possible.
On behalf of the Catholic Church, the Archbishop of San Salvador, Mgr. José Luis Escobar Alas, commented: "I am pleased that we are working so quickly and with concern to fight against violence, because we all know that a solution is needed. The issue of violence is the one that most affects the Salvadoran society. And this is known to all from the investigations that have been made. When the President of the Republic faces this problem with so much speed and concern, the people are happy and full of hope", said the Archbishop. "The population agrees with these security policies. It seems to me that this is an effort of good will, and if we join together, it will give good results", he concluded.
The situation of violence carried out in El Salvador by criminal gangs is a sad social characteristic of recent years. Fides has informed several times about the initiatives of the Catholic Church for social peace (see Fides, 8/7/2013), when the Church insisted in the truce of peace to stop the murders (see Fides, 19/6/2012) and even a first attempt of dialogue between the maras and President Funes (see Fides, 9/9/2010). (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 9/7/2019)