El Salvador and Honduras intensify crackdowns on criminality
Noriko Watanabe and Sawako Utsumi
Modern Tokyo Times
The State of Emergencies in El Salvador and Honduras are aimed at an overall crackdown on criminality and to stem the power of drug cartels. Both nations seek to reassure ordinary people that a new phase will emerge whereby workers don’t need to fear the power of crime syndicates.
President Xiomara Castro of Honduras recently said, “This social democratic government is declaring war on extortion, just as it has, since the first day, declared wars on corruption, impunity, and drug trafficking... We are going to eradicate extortion in every corner of our country.”
President Nayib Bukele of El Salvador issued a State of Emergency in March. Since this period, approximately 60,000 individuals have been arrested in the crackdown against violent criminal gangs that terrify ordinary people.
France 24 reports, “Before Bukele took power in 2019, El Salvador had lived for more than 20 years in fear of the Maras, the ultra-violent criminal gangs that placed the country among the three most dangerous nations in the world during most of the 2010s.”
Special forces and troops totaling approximately 10,000 in El Salvador have now been sent to intensify the crackdown in the city of Soyapango. Hence, ongoing house searches are in operation while all roads into Soyapango are under control.
The BBC reports, “Soyapango is one of El Salvador’s largest cities and is home to more than 290,000 people. The city – which sits just 13 km (8 miles) west of the capital San Salvador – has long been known as a hub for gang activity.”
Bukele announced, “Extraction teams from the police and the army are tasked with extricating all the gang members still there one by one.”
The president said the crackdown is “an operation against criminals, not against honest citizens.”
In Honduras, the crackdown is also intensifying. Hence, in two major cities where crime syndicates hold sway in vast areas, constitutional rights are being suspended.
Voice of America reports, “The rights would be suspended under a national security emergency that would last for 30 days and be implemented on Tuesday in some of the poorest areas of the capital, Tegucigalpa, and the northern city of San Pedro Sula.”
Associated Press says concerning El Salvador, “…nongovernmental organizations have tallied several thousand human rights violations and at least 80 in-custody deaths of people arrested during the state of exception.”
Lee Jay Walker says, “El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras are named under the “triangle of death.” This concerns homicidal gangs called “maras” – who control the narcotics trade and organized crime related to extortion, kidnappings, and so forth.”
Vast numbers of people have left El Salvador and Honduras and moved to America because of the power of crime syndicates. Natural convulsions include the fear of death, young adults being forced to join crime syndicates, poverty, and other negative angles.
The majority of people support the crackdowns in El Salvador and Honduras. Hence, providing full rights are restored after the crackdowns – and the political process remains firmly under the democratic system – hardworking people will support both leaders.
The status quo of rampant crime was destroying the body politic of both nations – thus, something had to be done to bring fresh hope to devasted crime-ridden areas. Of course, people are under no illusions that defeating crime syndicates in the long term will be very hard.
However, hope exists – despite the fine balancing act of human rights.
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