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Congress Ousts Dozens of Judges

(Washington DC) – Two laws passed by El Salvador’s Legislative Assembly on August 31, 2021, threaten judicial independence by allowing authorities to dismiss all judges and prosecutors who are 60 years old or older, Human Rights Watch said today.…
El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele delivers his annual address to the nation before Congress, in San Salvador, El Salvador, Tuesday, June 1.
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Governments Should Reject Costly, Harmful Policy for Refugees, Asylum Seekers

(Sydney) – Other governments should reject Australia’s abusive and costly offshore processing of refugees and asylum seekers, Human Rights Watch said today. July 19, 2021 is the eighth anniversary of the Australian government’s resumption of its…
Asylum seekers and human rights activists protest against the detention of refugees amid the Covid-19 crisis in Brisbane.
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June 10, 2021   H.E. Pedro Sánchez Pérez-Castejón President of the Government of Spain La Moncloa Aven Madrid, 28071 Spain   Dear President Sánchez, I am writing on behalf of Human Rights Watch in advance of…
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Nobody should be fooled by bromides like the one that Salvadoran Vice President Félix Ulloa offered this week on television. Ulloa said the government was trying to “promote” free speech in a context of “an avalanche of negative campaigns aimed…
El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele speaks to his supporters in San Salvador, El Salvador, on February 20, 2020.
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Strengthen Protections, End Asylum Pact with US

Salvadoran president Nayib Bukele agreed on December 15 to implement an Asylum Cooperative Agreement with the US government. It allows US immigration authorities to transfer non-Salvadoran asylum seekers to El Salvador, instead of allowing them to…
A transgender woman shows a photograph of Camila Díaz, whom she met while migrating to the US, where they both turned themselves in to immigration authorities. Both women were eventually deported.
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When Pricila, a 32-year-old trans woman, fled El Salvador in February 2019, she had good reason to fear for her life. Police had beaten and sexually assaulted her, telling her they would make her a man. Gang members attempted to forcibly recruit her.…
A group of men and women march walk while holding rainbow pride flags
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Discrimination Follows them from Home to the US Border

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala, sometimes called the Northern Triangle, often face violence and discrimination from their families, gangs, and even the police. When they try to seek asylum…
A group of men and women march walk while holding rainbow pride flags
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Summary Camila Díaz Córdova, a 29-year-old transgender woman, tried for years to escape the violence that had characterized her life in El Salvador. She made her way to the United States in 2017 to seek asylum, but after four months in immigration…
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Further Efforts Needed to Prevent, Prosecute Hate Crimes

(Washington, DC) – A judge in San Salvador has found three police officers guilty of the January 2019 killing of Camila Díaz Córdova, a transgender woman, and sentenced each to 20 years in prison, Human Rights Watch said today. The court’s July 28,…
A transgender woman shows a photograph of Camila Díaz, whom she met while migrating to the US, where they both turned themselves in to immigration authorities. Both women were eventually deported.
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The Trump administration has proposed a new federal regulation that would create insurmountable barriers to the vast majority of asylum claims, including by gutting the definition of refugee to the point where lesbian, gay, bisexual and…
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No Answers on Covid-19 Test Results, Quarantine, Government Spending

(Washington, DC) – The government of El Salvador’s decision to suspend public information requests, including for Covid-19 individual test results and quarantine conditions, is putting the health of Salvadorans at risk, Human Rights Watch said today.…
In this May 4, 2020 photo, men wearing protective face masks look out from a building where they are being held for violating a quarantine decreed by the government as part of measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, in San Salvador, El Salvador.
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President’s Call for Lethal Force Ignores Basic International Standards

  (Washington, DC) – El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele has ordered a mandatory lockdown in prisons holding gang members, imposing inhumane conditions on the inmates, Human Rights Watch said today. He also announced that he was authorizing “…
Inmates are lined up during a security operation under the watch of police at Izalco prison in San Salvador, El Salvador, on April 25, 2020.
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OAS Should Address Disregard for Rights Rulings, Constitution

(Washington, DC) – El Salvador President Nayib Bukele, for the third time in 10 days, on April 16, 2020, publicly dismissed Supreme Court rulings to respect fundamental rights while enforcing quarantine regulations, Human Rights Watch said today.…
El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele speaks to his supporters in San Salvador, El Salvador, on February 20, 2020.
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Arbitrary Detention, Hazardous Conditions in Detention, Quarantine

  (Washington, DC) – El Salvador’s police have arbitrarily arrested hundreds of people in the name of enforcing restrictions to prevent the transmission of Covid-19, Human Rights Watch said today. President Nayib Bukele’s statements have…
El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele, accompanied by members of the armed forces, speaks to his supporters outside Congress in San Salvador, El Salvador.
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No Hate Crime Conviction Despite Five Years of LGBT Murders Since Legislative Reform

Camila Díaz Córdova, a transgender woman, suffered violence and discrimination her entire life. She even fled El Salvador multiple times to seek refuge abroad. After being deported from the United States in late 2017, her fate was…
A transgender woman shows a photograph of Camila Díaz, whom she met while migrating to the US, where they both turned themselves in to immigration authorities. Both women were eventually deported.
News

Deported from the US to Her Death

An investigating judge in San Salvador ruled today that a criminal case against three police officers charged with aggravated homicide of Camila Díaz Córdova, a transgender woman murdered in January 2019, can proceed to trial. Much to…
A transgender woman shows a photograph of Camila Díaz, whom she met while migrating to the US, where they both turned themselves in to immigration authorities. Both women were eventually deported.
News

The head of state’s actions threaten democracy in the Central American nation.

On Sunday, President Nayib Bukele of El Salvador arrived at the Legislative Assembly with a group of uniformed soldiers holding automatic weapons. He wants the parliament to approve a $109 million loan from the Central American Development Bank so that he…
El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele, accompanied by members of the armed forces, speaks to his supporters outside Congress in San Salvador, El Salvador.