On Monday, February 22, Doctors Without Borders announced in a press release that it would resume its activities in Soyapango and San Salvador.
The announcement came 21 days after the organization suspended its activities due to an attack on one of its ambulances. On January 31, a doctor and a nursing assistant were deprived of liberty and attacked while covering an emergency in Ilopango. Authorities attributed the attack to gang members who control the area.
“We resumed our medical activities in Soyapango and San Salvador after temporary suspension due to a Warning sign attack on an ambulance team in Reparto Las Cañas (Ilopango) on Sunday, January 31, by an armed group,” Twitted the organization.
Apart from this incident, Doctors Without Borders assures that it has not registered problems of this nature since the beginning of their work in El Salvador, back in 2018.
The organization independently investigated the incident and consulted with the communities where offer its services.
“We independently investigated the incident and have reinforced with the communities as a whole that our medical teams need to be respected. We operate with neutrality, impartiality, and independence, to ensure the acceptance of our teams and to be able to continue with our work,” Doctors Without Borders.
The international organization reiterated to all parties in these communities and all armed actors to respect the medical teams and emergency services. “We operate under the principles of neutrality, impartiality, and independence, without taking sides with any political, economic, religious, or armed group,” wrote the organization.
The National Civil Police, PNC, reported that it had captured four suspects in the attack. The judge ordered provisional detention against the suspects while the investigation into the attack continues.
“Going back and serving these communities that have historically been stigmatized due to violence is our commitment,” Doctors Without Borders.
Doctors Without Borders gives general medical care, mental health, nursing, sexual and reproductive health, and social work in the San Salvador area.