El Salvador: Bukele threatens media with 15 years in prison if they reproduce gang messages Listen to this article

President Nayib Bukele has stepped up his attack against the media in El Salvador. The Central American country’s Congress on Tuesday approved reform to the penal code that threatens up to 15 years in prison for spreading messages from gang members to the Salvadoran press, at a time when the government maintains a controversial state of emergency. holds. by the President within his so-called war against the gang, which has so far detained nearly 7,000 gang members. Bukele used the history of World War II to justify this new measure: “When the Germans wanted to eradicate Nazism, they by law used all Nazi symbols, as well as messages, apologies and everything else that promoted Nazism. banned for the purpose. Nazism. No one said anything, it was understood that it was so. Now we will do this with gangs.” wrote on twitter,

The law pursues the “illegal spread and reproduction of messages, signs, propaganda for sects or gangs” and punishes those “by means of information and communication technology, radio communication media, television, writing” from 10 to 15 years in prison. establishes punishment. or digital, reproduced and transmitted messages or communications originating or potentially originating from alleged criminal groups, which may cause anxiety and panic in the population in general.

The president met with his Security Cabinet, the Attorney General and the Speaker of Parliament this Wednesday morning to “discuss the actions to be implemented” with the entry into force of the criminal reform, according to information from the Salvadoran Presidency. According to the ruling party, the messages of “terrorist groups” persecute. The reform was approved by the Bucallista steamroller in Congress, with 64 votes in favor out of a total of 84 seats. Little opposition was against the initiative, which is classified as censorship. Journalists’ organizations and human rights organizations have also expressed concern. Bukele has also responded to the criticism on Twitter: “If we want to be a developed country one day, we must do what developed countries do, not what they tell us to do.”

The Union of Journalists of El Salvador (APES) has issued a statement expressing their concerns about the reform, which they describe as “an apparent attempt to censor the media”. For Salvadoran journalists, “Preventing journalism from reporting the reality experienced by thousands of people living in communities controlled by gangs would not affect the lives of those people, but would create a mirage that was not true to the truth. Is. Not to mention the gangs, they won’t even disappear.” APES also states that “Journalistic work is essential to understand the impact of gangs, criminal groups that have drained the country for decades. Thanks to journalism, El Salvador and the world learned that many Salvadoran governments, including the current one, agree with gangs. Or that the present-day state of Salvador, with Nayib Bukele at his head, protected these criminals and denied their extradition to the United States. ,

Bukele’s new measure comes as his government maintains strained relations with the United States, which has rejected a controversial state of emergency declaration. This Wednesday, a White House spokesman has asked the president to repeal the measure. “We urge the government of El Salvador to carefully consider how it implements the measures derived from the current state of emergency and revoke the state of emergency as soon as possible,” the official said after being asked by the EFE agency. Is.” “We call on security forces, including police and prison officials, to observe and protect the human rights of all Salvadorans, including detainees,” he said.

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Bukele, however, maintains his position without being buoyed by widespread popular support and by Salvador’s positive response to his actions against Maras, which is made up of approximately 70,000 gang members. The president has confirmed that Tuesday went off without killings and according to Salvadoran police figures, 566 terrorists were caught in the country that day. “Total captures received in 11 days is 6,894” #gang war, 10 of which we have an exception rule”, the organization congratulated itself on Twitter. The information was, of course, retweeted by Bukele: “We continue.”

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