Cristosal Presents Report Identifying Abuse of Power in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras

By Eddie Galdamez  |  Jun 30th, 2023
cRISTOSAL eL sALVADORReport by Cristosal. Photo by Cristosal

On June 29, Cristosal, a Salvadoran human rights watch organization, presented a report identifying trends in the abuse of power and state violence in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras. The report identified trends in abuse of power and state violence in the three nations.

Abraham Abrego, director of strategic litigation at Cristosal, stated that “in this region, state violence has become the maximum expression of abuse of power, mainly affecting human rights defenders, journalists, justice operators, defenders of the territories of indigenous peoples, Afro-descendants, and marginalized communities.”

Abrego highlighted that in El Salvador and Guatemala, a democratic regression and instrumentalization of justice have been observed. However, Honduras is in relative stability due to its recent election.

The Salvadoran human rights watch organization stated that they analyzed three patterns of state violence which include:

  1. Abuse of punitive exercise and excessive use of emergency powers
  2. Violence against indigenous communities in defense of their possession and ancestral ownership of the land
  3. Violence against human rights defenders and justice operators

Cristosal stated that within the use of emergency powers, the analysis highlights the State of Exception as an instrument to carry out torture, subjugation, and search of homes under elements of coercion.

In summary, Cristosal proposes that the countries of the region (Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador) avoid the inappropriate use of emergency powers and use constitutional tools to address crime.

“Currently, the region is under the influence of authoritarian political currents and democratic regressions, fostered by the discredit of the democratic system, the crisis of political parties, and organized crime. The irruption of authoritarian schemes supposes a challenge to these states that already presented a fragile democratic institutionality.” Cristosal.

SEE ALSO: El Salvador State of Exception; a security measure implemented to fight gangs

Cristosal and the Bukele Administration State of Exception

Since it began in March 2022, Cristosal has been one of the most critical organizations regarding the Salvadoran State of Exception. They have produced many reports regradings deaths in the prison system and arrests.

A year under the emergency regime: a permanent measure of repression and violations of human rights.” The report exposes state barbarities during the Regimen and an extensive analysis of deaths in prisons.” Ruth Eleonora Lopez.

It is unlikely that the Bukele administration will pay any attention to the Cristosal report as the Bukele administration see the human rights organizations as political activist looking to attack President Bukele.